[Federal Register: July 24, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 141)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 356, 365, and 374
[Docket No. FMCSA-2008-0235]
Elimination of Route Designation Requirement for Motor Carriers
Transporting Passengers Over Regular Routes
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of disposition.
SUMMARY: On March 17, 2009, FMCSA published a notice in the Federal
Register (74 FR 11318) extending the effective date of its January 16,
2009 final rule entitled ``Elimination of Route Designation Requirement
for Motor Carriers Transporting Passengers Over Regular Routes'' until
June 15, 2009. This allowed for the solicitation of additional public
comments on the final rule and gave the incoming Administration
sufficient time to consider and respond to comments. After reviewing
the one comment that was received, FMCSA decided to allow the January
19, 2009 final rule to go into effect. This notice addresses the
comment that was submitted.
DATES: The effective date for the rule amending 49 CFR Parts 356, 365,
and 374 published at 74 FR 2895 on January 16, 2009, was June 15, 2009.
The compliance date for this rule was July 15, 2009.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Miller, Regulatory
Development Division, (202) 366-5370 or by e-mail at:
On January 16, 2009, FMCSA published a final rule announcing the
discontinuation of the administrative requirement that applicants
seeking for-hire authority to transport passengers over regular routes
submit a detailed description and a map of the route(s) over which they
propose to operate (74 FR 2895). The Agency indicated that it will
register such carriers as regular-route carriers without requiring the
designation of specific regular routes and fixed end-points. Once motor
carriers have obtained regular-route, for-hire operating authority from
FMCSA, they will no longer need to seek additional FMCSA approval in
order to change or add routes. The rule amended certain provisions of
49 CFR Parts 356, 365 and 374 to make them consistent with the Agency's
discontinuation of the route designation requirement. Each registered
regular-route motor carrier of passengers will continue to be subject
to the full safety oversight and enforcement programs of FMCSA and its
State and local partners.
The effective date of the rule was originally March 17, 2009, with
a compliance date of July 15, 2009. In accordance with the January 20,
2009 memorandum from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff
(74 FR 4435), FMCSA published a notice on March 3, 2009 seeking comment
on a proposal to delay the effective date of the final rule for 90 days
(74 FR 9172).
Based on comments submitted in response to the March 3 notice,
FMCSA extended the effective date of the final rule from March 17,
2009, to June 15, 2009, for the purpose of allowing the new leadership
of the Department of Transportation to review the proceeding and to
seek additional public comment (74 FR 11318, March 17, 2009).
Comments to the March Notice
Greyhound Lines, Inc. (Greyhound) submitted the only comment to the
March 17 notice. Greyhound expressed concern that the Agency's proposal
would prevent meaningful implementation of the Over-The-Road Bus
Transportation Accessibility Act of 2007, Public Law 110-291, 122 Stat.
2915, July 30, 2008 because, without route designations, FMCSA would be
unable to assess whether an applicant for new operating authority has
adequate equipment and systems to comply with the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). Moreover, eliminating the need for existing
carriers to seek new authority before expanding their operations would
eliminate FMCSA's ability to assess ADA compliance before allowing
Greyhound also took issue with the Agency's statement, in the
preamble to the final rule, that FMCSA and its predecessor agencies
have not used route designations in determining whether an applicant
could operate safely over a specific route, but provided no cases to
support its position. Greyhound reiterated arguments, made previously
rulemaking proceeding, that FMCSA adopt a new process that would give
greater scrutiny to a passenger carrier's willingness and ability to
comply with safety fitness and ADA requirements at the application
Response to Greyhound's Comment
FMCSA has not used the route filings for any of its safety
enforcement or other program purposes. The Department of Transportation
has signed the statutorily-required Memorandum of Understanding on ADA
enforcement with the Department of Justice, which has the primary ADA
enforcement role, and FMCSA will use other existing authorities to
consider and, where appropriate, take enforcement action with respect
to complaints of ADA non-compliance. These existing authorities do not
require establishment of a separate enforcement process. Accordingly,
FMCSA allowed the final rule to become effective on June 15, 2009.
The OP-1(P) application form has also been changed to eliminate the
current route-designation and mapping requirements. Because changes to
the OP-1(P) form had to be approved by the Office of Management and
Budget, FMCSA delayed implementation of the new procedures until July
15, 2009. The rule is now in effect and compliance is required by all
regular-route motor carriers of passengers.
Issued on: July 17, 2009.
Rose A. McMurray,
Acting Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. E9-17620 Filed 7-23-09; 8:45 am]
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