Transit Labor Arrangements:

Most Transit Agencies Report Impacts Are Minimal

GAO-02-78: Published: Nov 19, 2001. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2001.

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Concerns have arisen about the 37-year-old statutory provision commonly known as Section 13(c). Before the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) may make grants to transit applicants, the Department of Labor (DOL) must certify that fair and equitable arrangements are in place to protect mass transit employees affected. Section 13(c) requires that the arrangements provide for continued of collective bargaining rights and protect of employees against a worsening of their positions. Once certified, the arrangements are incorporated into the grant agreement between FTA and the grantee. Critics claim that Section 13(e) greatly increases the cost of transit operations, hinders transit agencies' efforts to adopt new technology, and constrains the efficient operation of transit systems. Supporters counter that Section 13(c) has enhanced labor-management stability and has improved communication and working relationships between management and labor. The transit agencies GAO surveyed reported that Section 13(c) had a minimal impact on their (1) labor costs, (2) ability to adopt new technologies, and (3) ability to modify transit operations. Transit agencies reported that Section 13(c) has delayed the award of federal grants and has presented a burden regarding time, efforts, and resources. Transit officials said that growth in the transit industry may mitigate the effects of Section 13(c).

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