2012 October

Operators: Urgent Federal Exemption Request Help Needed on Driver Log Regulation

Drivers to log as off-duty brief stops:  Carriers at Risk on Safety Ratings
Trailways Company Owners:  Gene Berardi, President/CEO of Adirondack, New York and Pine Hill Trailways, NY asks for your immediate help.  FMCSA has published for comment Adirondack Trailways' request for an (industry) exemption to the federal regulation (49 C.F.R. Part 395.8(c)) that requires drivers to log as off-duty the brief stops made for boarding passengers and/or baggage, etc.  He believes many carriers are not yet aware that they are at risk.  He seeks your support before it is too late.
DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 31, 2012. The link for submitting a public comment in support of this exemption is:

(It will take 10 minutes to file online — just replace your company name in this Comment.  If you have trouble with the Submit button, try removing your email, which is not required.)


The link for the Federal Register public notice is:

Filed online by Trailways on behalf of Stockholders 10/24/12:

The Trailways corporation representing 80 U.S. Trailways bus companies, requests an industry exemption to the federal regulation (49 C.F.R. Part 395.8(c)) that requires drivers to log as off-duty the brief stops made for boarding passengers and/or baggage, etc. 

Trailways requests that these drivers be exempted from the requirement to enter a change-in-duty status on the daily log for breaks in driving time of 10-minutes or less, for the limited purpose of picking up or setting off passengers, baggage, or small express packages. Such time would not be considered a change of duty status for the purposes of 49 CFR 395.8(c).

The "exemption" is a common industry practice that was approved and authorized in a rulemaking interpretation requested by Greyhound in 1996.  According to FMCSA, this interpretation was somehow not included in its 1997 compilation, so it is currently no longer an exemption, and has not been since 1997.  Greyhound supports the current request by Trailways, which became more important during 2011, when law enforcement and DOT agents began writing this practice as violations, which now affect a carrier's system safety ratings in the FMCSA’s public record. 

Thank you.




Alert: Demand responsive buses part of ADA rule; bus industry asks for extension

The American Bus Association has created a template letter (see ADA listing*) for Schedule Route Carriers use to request an extension on the date for ADA equipment compliance regarding extra sections.  The ABA said the extension request is prompted by the August 6, 2012 letter of the Department’s General Counsel which interprets the 100% fixed route fleet accessibility rule to include “any extra sections of service at heavy traffic times.”  The majority of the intercity bus industry interpreted the ADA regulations as treating extra sections, which are not scheduled and operate only if a company determines that there is sufficient demand to operate them, as demand responsive and thus not part of the fixed route fleet. However, the DOT General Counsel has concluded otherwise and the industry is bound by that ruling.

Note – the template is in the Trailways member's only website section.  If you need help, call 703-691-3052 or email bustrails@trailways.com for the i.d. and password. 



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