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Bus Testing: Calculation of Average Passenger Weight and Test Vehicle Weight

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Buses American Government

Bus Testing: Calculation of Average Passenger Weight and Test Vehicle Weight

Peter Rogoff
Federal Transit Administration
December 14, 2012

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 241 (Friday, December 14, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74452-74453]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30184]



Federal Transit Administration

49 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. FTA-2011-0015]
RIN 2132-AB01

Bus Testing: Calculation of Average Passenger Weight and Test 
Vehicle Weight

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of withdrawal.


SUMMARY: This action withdraws a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
that would have amended the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) 
bus testing regulation to increase the assumed average passenger weight 
value used for ballasting test buses from the current value of 150 
pounds to a new value of 175 pounds. This increase was proposed to 
better reflect the actual weight of the average American adult and to 
provide accurate information to the transit agencies that purchase such 
vehicles. In light of recent legislation directing FTA to establish new 
pass/fail standards that require a more comprehensive review of its 
overall bus testing program, FTA is withdrawing the rulemaking.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information, Gregory 
Rymarz, Bus Testing Program Manager, Office of Research, Demonstration, 
and Innovation (TRI), (202) 366-6410, Gregory.rymarz@dot.gov. For legal 
information, Richard Wong, Office of the Chief Counsel (TCC), (202) 
366-0675, richard.wong@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to section 317 of the Surface 
Transportation and Uniform Relocation Act of 1987 (Pub. L. 100-17), now 
codified at 49 U.S.C. 5318, FTA established a bus testing program to 
ensure that buses procured with FTA financial assistance could endure 
the rigors of daily transit service.
    In a 2009 rulemaking, FTA established a procedure by which transit

[[Page 74453]]

vehicles would be tested with a full load of seated and standing 
passengers, even if that number exceeded the vehicle's Gross Vehicle 
Weight Rating (GVWR) (74 FR 51083, October 5, 2009). The testing 
procedure simulated a 150 lb. weight for each seated passenger and a 
150 lb. weight for every 1.5 square foot of clear floor space. Given 
the upward trend in passenger weight estimations then underway by the 
Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Coast Guard, FTA 
published a second NPRM in 2011 proposing to change the average 
passenger weight from 150 lbs. to 175 lbs. and to change the floor 
space occupied per standing passenger from 1.5 to 1.75 square feet (76 
FR 13850, March 14, 2011).
    Subsequent to the NPRM, on July 6, 2012, Congress passed the Moving 
Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141). 
Section 20014 of MAP-21 amended 49 U.S.C. 5318 to require FTA to work 
with bus manufacturers and transit agencies to establish a new pass/
fail standard for the bus testing program, which must include new 
safety performance standards established by FTA pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 
5329(b) (as amended by MAP-21). Accordingly, in view of the mandate to 
establish a new pass/fail standard which requires a more comprehensive 
overall review of the bus testing program that satisfies both bus 
manufacturers and bus buyers, the proposed rule is hereby withdrawn.

Regulatory Impact

    Because this action only withdraws a notice of proposed rulemaking, 
it is neither a proposed nor a final rule and therefore it is not 
covered under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, or the DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979).

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 665

    Buses, Grant programs--transportation, Public transportation, Motor 
vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
    Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking, Docket FTA-2011-
0015, published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2011 (76 FR 
13580), is withdrawn.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 10, 2012.
Peter Rogoff,
[FR Doc. 2012-30184 Filed 12-13-12; 8:45 am]

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