[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 243 (Monday, December 20, 2010)]
[Pages 79438-79439]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31864]



Federal Transit Administration

[FTA Docket No. FTA 2010-0046]

Notice of Request for the Extension of a Currently Approved 
Information Collection

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Request for Comments.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this 
notice announces the intention of the Federal Transit Administration 
(FTA) to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve 
the following information collection: Charter Service Operations.

DATES: Comments must be submitted before February 18, 2011.

ADDRESSES: To ensure that your comments are not entered more than once 
into the docket, submit comments identified by the docket number by 
only one of the following methods:
    1. Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions 
for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site. 
(Note: The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT's) electronic 
docket is no longer accepting electronic comments.) All electronic 
submissions must be made to the U.S. Government electronic docket site 
at http://www.regulations.gov. Commenters should follow the directions 
below for mailed and hand-delivered comments.
    2. Fax: 202-366-7951.
    3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, 
SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-
140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number 
for this notice at the beginning of your comments. Submit two copies of 
your comments if you submit them by mail. For confirmation that FTA has 
received your comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Note 
that all comments received, including any personal information, will be 
posted and will be available to Internet users, without change, to 
http://www.regulations.gov. You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act 
Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, 2000, (65 FR 
19477), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents and 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time. 
Background documents and comments received may also be viewed at the 
U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.


--Elizabeth Martineau, Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366-1017, or e-
mail: Elizabeth.Martineau@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Interested parties are invited to send 
comments regarding any aspect of this information collection, 
including: (1) The necessity and utility of the information collection 
for the proper performance of the functions of the FTA; (2) the 
accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways to 
minimize the collection burden without reducing the quality of the 
collected information. Comments submitted in response to this notice 
will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of 
this information collection.
    Title: Charter Service Operations.
    (OMB Number: 2132-0543).
    Background: 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

[[Page 79439]]

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 

    ``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 

    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 
    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 e-mail 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 Section 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 
    Respondents: State and local government, business or other for-
profit institutions, and non-profit institutions.
    Estimated Annual Burden on Respondents: 1.75 hours for each of the 
852 State and local government respondents, .05 hours for each of the 
592 non-profit respondents, and 0.5 hours for each of the 64 for-profit 
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,819 hours.
    Frequency: Annually, bi-annually, quarterly, and as required.

    Issued: December 14, 2010.
Ann M. Linnertz,
Associate Administrator for Administration.
[FR Doc. 2010-31864 Filed 12-17-10; 8:45 am]