The last month has been a bust one for General Committee of Adjustment 875 SMART.
The General Committee has been moving efficiently through open and pending operator cases. Committee leaders reported during the contract negotiations that there were over 900 pending cases to work though. Since negotiations over half of the open and pending cases have been handled with many resulting in operators returning to work. Even today, there were SMART Transportation members at the union offices in Irwindale to go through reinstatement briefings.
The General Board Meeting of the LACMTA was last week and there was plenty on the docket for bus and rail operators to be interested in.
There are a number of state legislative agenda items that the MTA Board is being asked to support which the General Committee is keeping an eye on. SB 767 (De Leon) would allow the LACMTA to put another sales tax initiative on the ballot for 2016. This would essentially be a re-authorization of Measure R. Representatives from SMART have been in Sacramento and Los Angeles speaking with State Senators, LACMTA Board Members and other union leaders to ensure that funding for operations is once again in this sales tax measure.
AB 726 (Nazarian) would allow for Motor Coaches of up to 82 feet long on the Orange Line. The issue is the complete over crowding and inefficiency of the Orange Line especially when it reaches the east side of the line in the mornings. SMART Representatives have been recommending to the MTA Board, legislative leaders and local community groups along the Orange Line to oppose this bill. SMART Transportation has some serious safety concerns with a vehicle of this size operating on what is not truly a dedicated right of way.
Finally the Inspector General for the LACMTA has made a number of recommendations on Law Enforcement and Security options. The option being supported by the General Committee would maintain the current level of sworn officers and augment them with additional Metro Security Officers. The sworn officers would then be redeployed in order to maximize their utility throughout the system while Metro Security Officers handle tasks such as fare evasion and a general security presence. SMART Transportation is highly supportive of a greater security role for Metro Security Officers on the transportation system.