Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs. Topic 18-03. Workplace Implications of Autonomous Vehicles on the Transit Workforce

In recent years, automobile makers, makers of transit vehicles, technology companies, and start-up companies have devoted major efforts and resources to developing autonomous vehicles (AVs) and to pilot and test AVs in the United States and around the world. In light of this, transit agencies will face changes in the roles and responsibilities of their workforces. There is a need to develop an understanding of emerging legal issues surrounding the use of AVs for transit and legal implications related to the transit workforces. The objective of this research is to produce a report on the emerging legal issues surrounding the use of AVs for transit and legal implications related to the transit workforce. The research effort may include (1) a survey of current practices for transit agencies that have present and planned AV pilot programs; (2) possible conflicts regarding current legal requirements; and (3) the legal requirements for transitioning from a human-driver-centered system to an autonomous system. The research will culminate in the preparation of a LRD to provide attorneys with guidance on legal issues in this area. The final research product should include a discussion of the following legal issues that relate to autonomous transit operations: (1) With the absence of a transit operator, are there still functions that will legally require the presence of an employee on the vehicle; (2) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and paratransit requirements; (3) Union agreements and negotiations; (4) Non-unionized transit agencies; (5) Private provision of autonomous transit and transportation service through contract; (6) Privacy implications for workers; (7) Combining transit transportation with delivery services on the same vehicle; (8) Drug and alcohol testing of transit employees; (9) Monitoring autonomous transit (e.g., emergency intervention); (10) Section 13(c) of the Federal Transit Act; (11) Pension and retirement issues; and (12) Employment-related issues surrounding AV pilot programs.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $55000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-05, Topic 18-03

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Start Date: 20180226
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01661360
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-05, Topic 18-03
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 26 2018 4:51PM