FMCSA Heard the Industry’s Voice and Has Postponed Its Lease and Interchange Rule

Together we make change happen! Thank you to all of our members in voicing their concerns and coordinating comments on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Lease and Interchange of Vehicles: Motor Carriers of Passengers rule. Because of the united front, FMCSA has extended the compliance date for the rule from Jan. 1, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2021 to give the agency more time to fix this flawed rule as highlighted by the industry’s input. In the Federal Register Notice, FMCSA cited ABA and our members as the reason for this extension.

To address the concerns in the petitions, FMCSA published an NPRM on September 20, 2018 (83 FR 47764). This NPRM (RIN 2126-AC07) proposed to extend the compliance date of the 2015 final rule from January 1, 2019, to January 1, 2021. It also included proposed revisions to the 2015 final rule and requested public comment by November 19, 2018. In October 2018, several passenger carriers petitioned FMCSA to extend the compliance date immediately in accordance with the Agency’s prior commitments and provide sufficient time to finalize the NPRM, to avoid an uncertain operating environment, confusion, and disruption in industry operations. ABA wrote that the outcome of an uncertain business environment is entirely avoidable. The Agency should take the same action it has taken on two prior occasions, and simply publish a final rule to extend the compliance date of the current rule. ABA argued that extending the compliance date would not affect safety, as the current rule has never been in force; nor would an extension interfere with the rulemaking process to finalize revisions to the current rule. Further, the Agency has committed to extending the compliance date on several occasions for the stated purpose of allowing sufficient time to complete revisions to the current rule.

Comments Received

FMCSA received 15 comments supporting the extension of the compliance date of the 2015 final rule to January 1, 2021. The extension is necessary to provide time to consider all the issues and to publish a final rule, while giving motor carriers sufficient time to comply with the revised requirements. FMCSA therefore extends the 2019 compliance date until January 1, 2021.

Extending the Compliance Date

The Agency is extending the compliance date by 2 years, to January 1, 2021. The temporary section added to subpart F of 49 CFR part 390 when a previous extension of the compliance date was issued, is being updated to include the new compliance date.

Together, ABA and you, we can make a difference – it takes a unified team effort, together WE can bring about change!

We look forward to working with you on more issues and having more success for your business and our industry.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.

Contact

Melanie Hinton, Director of Communications & Media Relations, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)