Digest: Metro Transit workers file complaint over handling of virus cases

News Wire Digest second section for Aug. 31: Gateway Tunnel costs rise; winds blamed for BNSF derailment in Texas
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A Metro Transit Green Line train makes its way along University Avenue in St. Paul, Minn. The union representing Metro Transit rail operators and bus drivers has filed a complaint about agency practices regarding COVID-19.
TRAINS: David Lassen

More Monday morning rail news:

Union for operators files complaint over Metro Transit's handling of COVID-19 cases

The union representing light rail operators and bus drivers for Minneapolis-St. Paul’s Metro Transit has filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as state agencies and officials, after a COVID-19 outbreak at a light-rail maintenance facility. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the complaint by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 alleges management failed to follow safety protocols and failed to promptly notify workers after two cases of the coronavirus developed. At least three workers at the Blue Line maintenance facility have contracted the illness, while others have shown symptoms and are awaiting test results. A spokesman for Metro Transit said the agency follows Department of Health protocols.

Price tag for Gateway Tunnel project rises by $275 million
The cost of the long-delayed Gateway Tunnel has risen by $275 million while the project awaits funding, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. NorthJersey.com reports the Port Authority, the agency leading planning for new Northeast Corridor tunnels under the Hudson River, says the 2.4% increase since the project was submitted for federal funding in 2019, reflects inflation as the project awaits funding. The project remains stalled because it received a “medium-low” ranking from the Federal Transit Administration in ratings issued earlier this year, making it ineligible for federal funds.

Winds blamed for BNSF derailment in Texas
High winds are being blamed for the derailment of several BNSF Railway cars near Amarillo, Texas, on Saturday evening. KMAR and KCIT-TV report the incident led to the closure of U.S. Route 60 in Carson County, Texas, northeast of Amarillo.


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