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Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Buses American Government

Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

Ann M. Linnertz
Federal Transit Administration
Federal Register
February 25, 2011

[Federal Register: February 25, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 38)]
[Notices]               
[Page 10634-10635]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr25fe11-92]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[FTA Docket No. FTA-2011-0011]

 
Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of request for comments.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information 
Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below is forwarded to the Office of 
Management and Budget OMB) for review and comments. A Federal Register 
Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the 
following information collection was published on December 20, 2010 
(Citation 75 FR 79438). No comments were received from that notice.

[[Page 10635]]


DATES: Comments must be submitted before March 28, 2011. A comment to 
OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sylvia L. Marion, Office of 
Administration, Office of Management Planning, (202) 366-6680.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Title: Charter Service Operations (OMB Number: 2132-0543)
    Abstract: 49 U.S.C. 5323(d) requires all applicants for financial 
assistance from FTA to enter into a charter bus agreement with the 
Secretary of Transportation (delegated to the Administrator of FTA in 
49 CFR 1.51(a)). 49 U.S.C. 5323(d) provides protections for private 
intercity charter bus operators from unfair competition by FTA 
recipients. 49 U.S.C. 5302(a)(10) as interpreted by the Comptroller 
General permits FTA recipients, but does not state that recipients have 
a right, to provide charter bus service with FTA-funded facilities and 
equipment only if it is incidental to the provision of mass 
transportation service. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 
109-59, 119 Stat. 1144 (2005), amended 49 U.S.C. 5323(d) with respect 
to remedies, provides that:

    ``In addition to any remedy specified in the agreement, the 
Secretary shall bar a recipient or an operator from receiving 
federal transit assistance in an amount the Secretary considers 
appropriate if the Secretary finds a pattern of violations of the 
agreement.''

In addition, the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of 
Conference, for Section 3023(d), ``Condition on Charter Bus 
Transportation Service'' of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Public Law 
109-59, 119 Stat. 1144 (2005) directed FTA to ``initiate a negotiated 
rulemaking seeking public comment on the regulations implementing 
section 5323(d).''
    In response to the direction contained in the Conference Committee 
Report, FTA established a Federal Advisory Committee to develop, 
through negotiated rulemaking procedures, recommendations for improving 
the regulation regarding charter bus services. On January 14, 2008, FTA 
published its final rule (73 FR 2326) amending the regulations which 
govern the provision of charter service. These regulations are 
implemented at 49 CFR Part 604. Changes to Part 604 include 
clarification of the existing requirements, a newly defined ``charter 
service,'' replacement of the ``willing and able'' process for the 
electronic registration of private charter providers, and the 
establishment of more detailed complaint, hearing, and appeal 
procedures.
    Section 604.4 requires all applicants for federal financial 
assistance under 49 U.S.C. 5301 et seq., and 23 U.S.C. 103(e)(4), 
142(a), and 142(c) to enter into a ``Charter Service Agreement,'' 
contained in the Certifications and Assurances for FTA Assistance 
Programs, unless exempt under 49 CFR 604.2 or otherwise falls under an 
exception in 49 CFR Part 604. The Certifications and Assurances become 
a part of the Grant Agreement or Cooperative Agreement for federal 
assistance upon the recipient's receipt of federal funds.
    The January 14, 2008, amendments to 49 CFR Part 604 added Section 
604.14, which requires that a recipient give email notification to 
registered charter providers in the recipient's geographic service area 
upon receiving a request for charter service that the recipient is 
interested in providing pursuant to Sec.  604.9. In addition, 49 CFR 
604.12 requires that the recipient submit the records of all instances 
that it has provided charter service permitted under one or more of the 
exceptions under Subpart B of Part 604 to the charter registration Web 
site 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter. The recipient must 
also maintain the required notices and records electronically for three 
years from the date of the service or lease of FTA funded equipment 
and/or drivers.
    In order for a private charter operator to become a registered 
charter provider, the private charter operator must register on FTA's 
charter registration Web site, which can be found at http://
www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_179.html. Under 49 CFR 604.13, a 
registered charter provider must update its information on the charter 
registration Web site at least once every two years.
    The January 14, 2008, final rule also added 49 CFR 604.7, allowing 
recipients to provide charter service to qualified human service 
organizations (QHSO) under limited circumstances. QHSOs seeking to 
receive free or reduced rate services from recipients and do not 
receive federal funding under programs listed in Appendix A to Part 604 
must register on FTA's charter registration Web site (49 CFR 
604.15(a)).
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,819 hours.

ADDRESSES: All written comments must refer to the docket number that 
appears at the top of this document and be submitted to the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 
725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FTA Desk 
Officer.
    Comments are Invited On: Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the Department, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, 
and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize 
the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including 
the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology.

    Issued On: February 17, 2011.
Ann M. Linnertz,
Associate Administrator for Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-4204 Filed 2-24-11; 8:45 am]
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