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Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of Passengers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses

Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of Passengers

T.F. Scott Darling, III
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
July 1, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 126 (Wednesday, July 1, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37553-37554]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16111]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 390

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0103]
RIN 2126-AB44


Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of Passengers

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Extension of deadline for filing petitions for reconsideration.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces an extension of the deadline for submitting 
petitions for reconsideration of its May 27, 2015, final rule 
concerning the lease and interchange of commercial motor vehicles 
(CMVs) by motor carriers of passengers. The final rule provides 
regulations governing the lease and interchange of passenger-carrying 
CMVs to identify the motor carrier operating a passenger-carrying CMV 
that is responsible for compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and ensure that a lessor surrenders control 
of the CMV for the full term of the lease or temporary exchange of CMVs 
and drivers. The American Bus Association (ABA) and United Motorcoach 
Association (UMA) filed a joint request for an extension of the June 
26, 2015, deadline for the submission of petitions for reconsideration 
of the final rule. The Agency grants the request and extends the 
deadline for submission of petitions for reconsideration from June 26 
until August 25, 2015.

DATES: Petitions for reconsideration must be filed in accordance with 
49 CFR 389.35 by close of business on August 25, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Loretta Bitner, (202) 385-2428, 
loretta.bitner@dot.gov, Office of Enforcement and Compliance. FMCSA 
office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On May 27, 2015 (80 FR 30164), FMCSA published a final rule 
concerning the lease and interchange of passenger-carrying CMVs to 
identify the motor carrier operating a passenger-carrying CMV that is 
responsible for compliance with the FMCSRs and ensure that a lessor 
surrenders control of the CMV for the full term of the lease or 
temporary exchange of CMVs and

[[Page 37554]]

drivers. The Agency indicated that the final rule is necessary to 
ensure that unsafe passenger carriers cannot evade FMCSA oversight and 
enforcement by entering into a questionable lease arrangement to 
operate under the authority of another carrier that exercises no actual 
control over those operations. This rule will enable the FMCSA, the 
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and our Federal and State 
partners to identify motor carriers transporting passengers in 
interstate commerce and correctly assign responsibility to these 
entities for regulatory violations during inspections, compliance 
investigations, and crash investigations. It also provides the general 
public with the means to identify the responsible motor carrier at the 
time transportation services are provided.
    The effective date of the final rule is July 27, 2015, and the 
compliance date is January 1, 2017, for motor carriers of passengers 
operating CMVs under a lease or interchange agreement.

ABA and UMA Request

    On June 18, the ABA and UMA submitted a joint request for a 60-day 
extension of the deadline for petitions for reconsideration of the 
final rule. The associations stated:

    ``In the wake of publication of the Final Rule, our members have 
raised a number of significant questions regarding the practical and 
operational applications of the rule's requirements necessary for 
the successful implementation of the rule.
    The diversity or our [members'] operations, some of which are 
addressed directly by this rule and some of which are indirectly 
addressed, we believe, has led to unintended consequences or 
possibly inaccurate interpretations. Therefore, before we consider 
filing a petition for reconsideration, we initially would like to 
work with the Agency and seek clarification.''

    The associations indicated that they are currently in the process 
of coordinating meetings with FMCSA to provide clarification of the 
various provisions in the final rule but those meetings are not likely 
to be completed before the June 26, 2015, deadline for petitions for 
reconsideration.

FMCSA Decision

    FMCSA has considered the ABA and UMA request and believes that 
granting an extension of the deadline is appropriate. The extension 
will enable the associations to work with their members to better 
understand the final rule, seek clarification or guidance from FMCSA if 
necessary, and determine subsequently whether there are indeed 
substantive issues to be addressed through a petition for 
reconsideration. The Agency extends the deadline for submission for an 
additional 60 days to August 25, 2015.

    Issued on: June 24, 2015.
 T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-16111 Filed 6-26-15; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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