The American Bus Association (ABA) filed with the Federal Transit Agency (FTA) its opposition to a request from Charlotte, N.C.-based Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) for an exemption from the FTA’s charter bus regulation. The charter bus regulation prohibits public transit agencies from doing work normally provided by private bus and motorcoach operators.
In its letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, ABA argues that Charlotte officials have not exhausted all efforts to find privately operated motorcoaches to provide charter service to meet the demands of the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
“The law is clearly on the side of the private motorcoach companies, and the American Bus Association continues to defend the rights of small, medium and larger owner/operators to operate their businesses and compete on a level playing field with publicly subsidized operators. Private over-the-road bus and motorcoach companies and public transit agencies each have important, but very different, roles to play in our overall transportation network. Charlotte Area Transit System officials are attempting to do the work that the federal government clearly says should be done by the private sector,” said Peter J. Pantuso, president/CEO of the ABA. “We strongly urge the Federal Transit Administration to deny this request.”
The charter bus regulation is quite clear that exemptions to the preference for private operators to perform charter work are to be granted rarely and only after the public transit agency has met its burden of proof, according to ABA. The ABA also filed a list of ways the CATS petition fails on important points.