July 1, 2010

Brief stay granted after action denied for Charter Service Rule

The United Motorcoach Association (UMA) issued an update on the legislative provision authored by Senator Patty Murray, which was ruled unconstitutional. The legislation blocked the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) from enforcing the Charter Service Rule concerning Seattle's King County Metro Transit. The FTA was directed to administer the Charter Service Rule immediately.  
 
After internal deliberations, the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTA filed a request for a stay while the case was appealed. Oral arguments were made on behalf of UMA members by legal counsel Dan Mastromarco. The stay was denied.
 
Within hours, the Department of Justice filed an appeal with the appellate court challenging the lower court's decision denying the stay.
 
It is important to note that King County Metro stated publicly their charter service contract with the Seattle Mariners would cease by June 30, 2010 if no stay was entered. The government argued that the Court enter an immediate administrative stay of the district court's order, pending the Court's resolution of this motion.
 
The appellate court granted an administrative stay Tuesday evening until July 8, 2010; which allows legal counsel adequate time to prepare arguments.
 
"Certainly we are disappointed in the Court's decision for a brief administrative stay," stated Vic Parra, president/CEO of UMA. "However, we are confident our arguments are sound and the lower court's decision will prevail."
 
Meanwhile, in a statement released in response to the lower court's ruling, Murray vowed to continue to fight for a change in the rule that "forces local fans and event goers to use overpriced and inefficient private charter buses." She said her amendment to the appropriations act was drafted in response to fans' complaints about private charter operators.
 
"It's clear the government is overreaching here," comments Ken Presley, vice president of industry relations. "It is imperative that our members know the position of their Congressional and Senate Representatives, make their wishes known, and vote accordingly. Senator Murray did not pass this legislation alone."

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