National Express LLC-Acquisition of Control-Free Enterprise System/Royal, LLC, 12014-12016 [2019-06057]

Download as PDF 12014 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 61 / Friday, March 29, 2019 / Notices exceed $5 million and the transaction will not result in the creation of a Class II or a Class I rail carrier. ABC states that the proposed transaction does not involve any provision or agreement that would limit future interchange with a third-party connecting carrier. ABC states that it intends to consummate the transaction on or after April 11, 2019; however, the earliest this transaction may be consummated is April 12, 2019, the effective date of the exemption (30 days after the verified notice was filed). If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. Petitions to revoke the exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) may be filed at any time. The filing of a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions to stay must be filed no later than April 5, 2019 (at least seven days before the exemption becomes effective). An original and 10 copies of all pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 36278, must be filed with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on Michael J. Barron, Fletcher & Sippel, LLC, 29 North Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606–3208. According to ABC, this action is exempt from environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and from historic reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b). Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: March 26, 2019. By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings. Kenyatta Clay, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2019–06082 Filed 3–28–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. MCF 21085] National Express LLC—Acquisition of Control—Free Enterprise System/ Royal, LLC Surface Transportation Board. Notice tentatively approving and authorizing finance transaction. AGENCY: jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES ACTION: On February 27, 2019, National Express LLC (National Express) and Sodrel Holding Company, Inc. (Sodrel Holding) (collectively, Applicants), both noncarriers, jointly filed an application for National Express to acquire control of Free Enterprise SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Mar 28, 2019 Jkt 247001 System/Royal, LLC (Royal) from Sodrel Holding. The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action. DATES: Comments must be filed by May 13, 2019. Applicants may file a reply by May 28, 2019. If no opposing comments are filed by May 13, 2019, this notice will be effective on May 14, 2019. ADDRESSES: Send an original and 10 copies of any comments referring to Docket No. MCF 21085 to: Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. In addition, send one copy of comments to Applicants’ representatives: (1) Andrew K. Light, Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C., 10 W Market Street, Suite 1400, Indianapolis, IN 46204; and (2) John G. Treitz, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, 500 West Jefferson Street, Suite 2000, Louisville, KY 40202–2828. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Ziehm at (202) 245–0391. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 27, 2019, National Express LLC (National Express) and Sodrel Holding Company, Inc. (Sodrel Holding) (collectively, Applicants), both noncarriers, jointly filed an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 for National Express to acquire control of Free Enterprise System/Royal, LLC (Royal) from Sodrel Holding. The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action. Persons wishing to oppose the application must follow the rules at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8. According to the application, National Express is a noncarrier holding company organized under the laws of Delaware that is indirectly wholly owned and controlled by a publicly held, British corporation, National Express Group, PLC (Express Group). (Appl. 1–2.) Applicants state that Express Group indirectly controls the following 17 motor passenger carriers (collectively, National Express Affiliated Carriers) that hold interstate carrier operating authority in the United States (id. at 2–8): 1 1 Additional information about these motor carriers, along with Royal and the carriers affiliated with Sodrel Holding discussed below, including U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers, motor carrier numbers, and USDOT safety fitness ratings, can be found in the application. (See id. at 2–10, sched. A.) PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Aristocrat Limousine and Bus, Inc., which provides public passenger charter services in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and intrastate passenger charter services in New Jersey; • Beck Bus Transportation Corp., which primarily provides student school bus transportation services in Illinois, and charter passenger services to the public; • Chicagoland Coach Lines LLC, formerly known as National Express Coach, LLC, and National Express Transit—Yuma, which does not have any current operations; • Durham School Services, L.P., which primarily provides student school bus transportation services in several states, and charter passenger services to the public; • MV Student Transportation, Inc., which primarily provides student school bus transportation services, and charter passenger services to the public; • New Dawn Transit LLC, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services in New York, and charter passenger services to the public; • Petermann Ltd., which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services in Ohio, and charter passenger services to the public; • Petermann Northeast LLC, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services primarily in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and charter passenger services to the public; • Petermann Southwest LLC, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services in Texas, and charter passenger services to the public; • Petermann STSA, LLC, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services primarily in Kansas, and charter passenger services to the public; • Quality Bus Service LLC, which primarily provides non-regulated student school bus transportation services primarily in New York, and charter passenger services to the public; • Queen City Transportation, LLC, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services in Ohio, and charter passenger services to the public; • Trans Express Inc., which provides interstate and intrastate passenger transportation services in New York; • Trinity, Inc., which provides nonregulated school bus transportation services in southeastern Michigan, and charter service to the public; • Trinity Student Delivery LLC, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services in E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 61 / Friday, March 29, 2019 / Notices northern Ohio, and passenger charter services to the public; • White Plains Bus Company, Inc., d/ b/a Suburban Paratransit Service, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus transportation services in New York, paratransit services, and charter services to the public; and • Wise Coaches, Inc., which provides interstate passenger charter services in Tennessee and its surrounding states, and intrastate passenger charter and shuttle services in Tennessee. Applicants state that Royal, the carrier being acquired, is an Indiana limited liability company that holds interstate carrier operating authority in the United States. Royal operates primarily as a motor carrier providing interstate and intrastate passenger charter services in Illinois and Indiana, and their surrounding states, and corporate and university shuttle services for employees and students in the greater metropolitan area of Chicago, Ill. (the Service Area). (Appl. 9.) According to the application, Mr. Michael E. Sodrel holds all of the equity stock of Sodrel Holding. (Id. at 8.) Sodrel Holding, the seller and a noncarrier, is an Indiana corporation that holds all of the issued and outstanding equity membership interests in Royal. (Id.) Sodrel Holding also owns all of the outstanding equity stock or interests in three other motor passenger carriers that hold interstate carrier operating authority in the United States (Sodrel Affiliated Carriers) (id. at 8–10): • The Free Enterprise System Inc., which provides interstate and intrastate passenger charter services in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky; • Star of America LLC, which does not currently have any operations; and • Student Transit, LLC, which provides non-regulated school bus transportation services in Indiana. Applicants state that the National Express Affiliated Carriers, Royal, and the Sodrel Affiliated Carriers are the only carriers with regulated interstate operations involved in this application. (Id. at 11.) Applicants state that, through this transaction, National Express will acquire all of the outstanding equity membership interest in Royal, giving National Express direct 100% control of Royal. (Id. at 10.) Under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b), the Board must approve and authorize a transaction that it finds consistent with the public interest, taking into consideration at least: (1) The effect of the proposed transaction on the adequacy of transportation to the public, (2) the total fixed charges that result, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Mar 28, 2019 Jkt 247001 and (3) the interest of affected carrier employees. Applicants have submitted the information required by 49 CFR 1182.2, including information to demonstrate that the proposed transaction is consistent with the public interest under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b), see 49 CFR 1182.2(a)(7), and a jurisdictional statement under 49 U.S.C. 14303(g) that the aggregate gross operating revenues of the involved carriers exceeded $2 million during the 12-month period immediately preceding the filing of the application, see 49 CFR 1182.2(a)(5). Applicants assert that the proposed transaction is not expected to have a material, detrimental impact on the adequacy of transportation services available to the public. (Appl. 11.) They state that National Express expects that services to the public will be improved as operating efficiencies are realized. (Id.) They state that for the foreseeable future, Royal will continue to provide the services it currently provides under the same name, but will operate within the National Express corporate family, which is experienced in passenger transportation operations. (Id.) Applicants further state that Royal is experienced in some of the same market segments already served by some of the National Express Affiliated Carriers, and the transaction is expected to result in improved operating efficiencies, increased equipment utilization rates, and cost savings derived from economies of scale within Royal, which will help ensure the provision of adequate service to the public. (Id. at 12.) They also assert that adding Royal to National Express’ corporate family will enhance the viability of the overall National Express organization and the operations of the National Express Affiliated Carriers by adding the Service Area to their areas serviced. (Id.) Applicants claim that neither competition nor the public interest will be adversely affected by the proposed transaction. (Id. at 14.) Applicants state that the population and demand for charter and shuttle services in the Service Area are expected to increase in the foreseeable future, and that Royal competes directly with other passenger charter and shuttle service providers, including ABC Transportation Services, Aries Charter Transportation, Chicago Charter Bus, Chicago Classic Coach, Ideal Charter, Infinity Transportation, Signature Transportation Group, and Windy City Limousine. (Id.) According to Applicants, a number of passenger transportation arrangers or brokers for charter services operate within the Service Area, and passenger motor coach charter providers also compete ‘‘with a number of scheduled airlines PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12015 and scheduled rail transportation within the Service Area.’’ (Id.) With regard to interstate charter service offerings, Applicants also state that the Service Area is geographically dispersed from the service areas of the National Express Affiliated Carriers, and there is very limited overlap in the service areas and customer bases among the National Express Affiliated Carriers and Royal. (Id.) Applicants state that there are no material fixed charges associated with the transaction. (Appl. 12.) Regarding the interests of employees, Applicants claim that the transaction is not expected to have substantial impacts on employees or labor conditions, nor does National Express anticipate a measurable reduction in force or changes in compensation levels and/or benefits. (Id.) Applicants submit, however, that staffing redundancies could result in limited downsizing of back-office or managerial-level personnel. (Id.) The Board finds that the acquisition as proposed in the application is consistent with the public interest and should be tentatively approved and authorized. If any opposing comments are timely filed, these findings will be deemed vacated, and, unless a final decision can be made on the record as developed, a procedural schedule will be adopted to reconsider the application. See 49 CFR 1182.6. If no opposing comments are filed by expiration of the comment period, this notice will take effect automatically and will be the final Board action. This action is categorically excluded from environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c). Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. It is ordered: 1. The proposed transaction is approved and authorized, subject to the filing of opposing comments. 2. If opposing comments are timely filed, the findings made in this notice will be deemed vacated. 3. This notice will be effective May 14, 2019, unless opposing comments are filed by May 13, 2019. 4. A copy of this notice will be served on: (1) The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; (2) the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, 10th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530; and (3) the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. Decided: March 25, 2019. E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 12016 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 61 / Friday, March 29, 2019 / Notices By the Board, Board Members Begeman, Fuchs, and Oberman. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2019–06057 Filed 3–28–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Docket No. FAA2019–0238] Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of a Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Human Response to Aviation Noise in Protected Natural Areas Survey Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. This information will be used to establish a scientific basis for air tour management policy decisions in the National Parks as mandated by the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000. DATES: Written comments should be submitted by May 28, 2019. ADDRESSES: Please send written comments: By Electronic Docket: www.regulations.gov (Enter docket number into search field). By mail: Office of Environment and Energy (AEE–100) Federal Aviation Administration 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20591. By fax: 202–267–5594. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Doyle by email at: sean.doyle@ faa.gov; phone: 202–267–3493. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA’s performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection. jbell on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Mar 28, 2019 Jkt 247001 OMB Control Number: 2120–0744. Title: Human Response to Aviation Noise in Protected Natural Areas Survey. Form Numbers: There are no FAA forms associated with this request. Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection. Background: The data from this research are critically important for establishing the scientific basis for air tour management policy decisions in the National Parks as mandated by the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 (NPATMA). The research expands on previous aircraft noise doseresponse work by using a wider variety of survey methods, by including different site types and visitor experiences from those previously measured, and by increasing site type replication. Respondents: Approximately 16,800 visitors to National Parks annually. Frequency: Information is collected on occasion. Estimated Average Burden per Response: 15 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 4,200 hours annually. Issued in Washington, DC, on March 25, 2019. Kevin Welsh, Director Office of Environment and Energy, Federal Aviation Administration Office of Environment and Energy (AEE). [FR Doc. 2019–06065 Filed 3–28–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Summary Notice No. 2019–13] Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Tyce Bluth Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice contains a summary of a petition seeking relief from specified requirements of Federal Aviation Regulations. The purpose of this notice is to improve the public’s awareness of, and participation in, the FAA’s exemption process. Neither publication of this notice nor the inclusion or omission of information in the summary is intended to affect the legal status of the petition or its final disposition. DATES: Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number and must be received on or before April 18, 2019. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Send comments identified by docket number FAA–2019–0138 using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M–30; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12–140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590– 0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at (202) 493–2251. Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/ privacy. Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Ross (202) 267–9836, Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591. This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85. ADDRESSES: Issued in Washington, DC, on March 25, 2019. Brandon Roberts, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Rulemaking. Petition for Exemption Docket No.: FAA–2019–0138. Petitioner: Tyce Bluth. Section(s) of 14 CFR Affected: 121.311(a), (b), (c). Description of Relief Sought: Petitioner seeks relief from 14 CFR part 121.311(b) to the extent required to use a non-FAA approved child restraint system, Merritt Churchill belt E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 61 (Friday, March 29, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12014-12016]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-06057]


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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

[Docket No. MCF 21085]


National Express LLC--Acquisition of Control--Free Enterprise 
System/Royal, LLC

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Notice tentatively approving and authorizing finance 
transaction.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On February 27, 2019, National Express LLC (National Express) 
and Sodrel Holding Company, Inc. (Sodrel Holding) (collectively, 
Applicants), both noncarriers, jointly filed an application for 
National Express to acquire control of Free Enterprise System/Royal, 
LLC (Royal) from Sodrel Holding. The Board is tentatively approving and 
authorizing the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely 
filed, this notice will be the final Board action.

DATES: Comments must be filed by May 13, 2019. Applicants may file a 
reply by May 28, 2019. If no opposing comments are filed by May 13, 
2019, this notice will be effective on May 14, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Send an original and 10 copies of any comments referring to 
Docket No. MCF 21085 to: Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, 
Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, send one copy of comments to 
Applicants' representatives: (1) Andrew K. Light, Scopelitis, Garvin, 
Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C., 10 W Market Street, Suite 1400, 
Indianapolis, IN 46204; and (2) John G. Treitz, Stoll Keenon Ogden 
PLLC, 500 West Jefferson Street, Suite 2000, Louisville, KY 40202-2828.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Ziehm at (202) 245-0391. 
Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal 
Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 27, 2019, National Express LLC 
(National Express) and Sodrel Holding Company, Inc. (Sodrel Holding) 
(collectively, Applicants), both noncarriers, jointly filed an 
application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 for National Express to acquire 
control of Free Enterprise System/Royal, LLC (Royal) from Sodrel 
Holding. The Board is tentatively approving and authorizing the 
transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice 
will be the final Board action. Persons wishing to oppose the 
application must follow the rules at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8.
    According to the application, National Express is a noncarrier 
holding company organized under the laws of Delaware that is indirectly 
wholly owned and controlled by a publicly held, British corporation, 
National Express Group, PLC (Express Group). (Appl. 1-2.) Applicants 
state that Express Group indirectly controls the following 17 motor 
passenger carriers (collectively, National Express Affiliated Carriers) 
that hold interstate carrier operating authority in the United States 
(id. at 2-8): \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Additional information about these motor carriers, along 
with Royal and the carriers affiliated with Sodrel Holding discussed 
below, including U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers, 
motor carrier numbers, and USDOT safety fitness ratings, can be 
found in the application. (See id. at 2-10, sched. A.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Aristocrat Limousine and Bus, Inc., which provides public 
passenger charter services in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, 
and intrastate passenger charter services in New Jersey;
     Beck Bus Transportation Corp., which primarily provides 
student school bus transportation services in Illinois, and charter 
passenger services to the public;
     Chicagoland Coach Lines LLC, formerly known as National 
Express Coach, LLC, and National Express Transit--Yuma, which does not 
have any current operations;
     Durham School Services, L.P., which primarily provides 
student school bus transportation services in several states, and 
charter passenger services to the public;
     MV Student Transportation, Inc., which primarily provides 
student school bus transportation services, and charter passenger 
services to the public;
     New Dawn Transit LLC, which primarily provides non-
regulated school bus transportation services in New York, and charter 
passenger services to the public;
     Petermann Ltd., which primarily provides non-regulated 
school bus transportation services in Ohio, and charter passenger 
services to the public;
     Petermann Northeast LLC, which primarily provides non-
regulated school bus transportation services primarily in Ohio and 
Pennsylvania, and charter passenger services to the public;
     Petermann Southwest LLC, which primarily provides non-
regulated school bus transportation services in Texas, and charter 
passenger services to the public;
     Petermann STSA, LLC, which primarily provides non-
regulated school bus transportation services primarily in Kansas, and 
charter passenger services to the public;
     Quality Bus Service LLC, which primarily provides non-
regulated student school bus transportation services primarily in New 
York, and charter passenger services to the public;
     Queen City Transportation, LLC, which primarily provides 
non-regulated school bus transportation services in Ohio, and charter 
passenger services to the public;
     Trans Express Inc., which provides interstate and 
intrastate passenger transportation services in New York;
     Trinity, Inc., which provides non-regulated school bus 
transportation services in southeastern Michigan, and charter service 
to the public;
     Trinity Student Delivery LLC, which primarily provides 
non-regulated school bus transportation services in

[[Page 12015]]

northern Ohio, and passenger charter services to the public;
     White Plains Bus Company, Inc., d/b/a Suburban Paratransit 
Service, which primarily provides non-regulated school bus 
transportation services in New York, paratransit services, and charter 
services to the public; and
     Wise Coaches, Inc., which provides interstate passenger 
charter services in Tennessee and its surrounding states, and 
intrastate passenger charter and shuttle services in Tennessee.
    Applicants state that Royal, the carrier being acquired, is an 
Indiana limited liability company that holds interstate carrier 
operating authority in the United States. Royal operates primarily as a 
motor carrier providing interstate and intrastate passenger charter 
services in Illinois and Indiana, and their surrounding states, and 
corporate and university shuttle services for employees and students in 
the greater metropolitan area of Chicago, Ill. (the Service Area). 
(Appl. 9.)
    According to the application, Mr. Michael E. Sodrel holds all of 
the equity stock of Sodrel Holding. (Id. at 8.) Sodrel Holding, the 
seller and a noncarrier, is an Indiana corporation that holds all of 
the issued and outstanding equity membership interests in Royal. (Id.) 
Sodrel Holding also owns all of the outstanding equity stock or 
interests in three other motor passenger carriers that hold interstate 
carrier operating authority in the United States (Sodrel Affiliated 
Carriers) (id. at 8-10):
     The Free Enterprise System Inc., which provides interstate 
and intrastate passenger charter services in Illinois, Indiana, and 
Kentucky;
     Star of America LLC, which does not currently have any 
operations; and
     Student Transit, LLC, which provides non-regulated school 
bus transportation services in Indiana.
    Applicants state that the National Express Affiliated Carriers, 
Royal, and the Sodrel Affiliated Carriers are the only carriers with 
regulated interstate operations involved in this application. (Id. at 
11.)
    Applicants state that, through this transaction, National Express 
will acquire all of the outstanding equity membership interest in 
Royal, giving National Express direct 100% control of Royal. (Id. at 
10.)
    Under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b), the Board must approve and authorize a 
transaction that it finds consistent with the public interest, taking 
into consideration at least: (1) The effect of the proposed transaction 
on the adequacy of transportation to the public, (2) the total fixed 
charges that result, and (3) the interest of affected carrier 
employees. Applicants have submitted the information required by 49 CFR 
1182.2, including information to demonstrate that the proposed 
transaction is consistent with the public interest under 49 U.S.C. 
14303(b), see 49 CFR 1182.2(a)(7), and a jurisdictional statement under 
49 U.S.C. 14303(g) that the aggregate gross operating revenues of the 
involved carriers exceeded $2 million during the 12-month period 
immediately preceding the filing of the application, see 49 CFR 
1182.2(a)(5).
    Applicants assert that the proposed transaction is not expected to 
have a material, detrimental impact on the adequacy of transportation 
services available to the public. (Appl. 11.) They state that National 
Express expects that services to the public will be improved as 
operating efficiencies are realized. (Id.) They state that for the 
foreseeable future, Royal will continue to provide the services it 
currently provides under the same name, but will operate within the 
National Express corporate family, which is experienced in passenger 
transportation operations. (Id.) Applicants further state that Royal is 
experienced in some of the same market segments already served by some 
of the National Express Affiliated Carriers, and the transaction is 
expected to result in improved operating efficiencies, increased 
equipment utilization rates, and cost savings derived from economies of 
scale within Royal, which will help ensure the provision of adequate 
service to the public. (Id. at 12.) They also assert that adding Royal 
to National Express' corporate family will enhance the viability of the 
overall National Express organization and the operations of the 
National Express Affiliated Carriers by adding the Service Area to 
their areas serviced. (Id.)
    Applicants claim that neither competition nor the public interest 
will be adversely affected by the proposed transaction. (Id. at 14.) 
Applicants state that the population and demand for charter and shuttle 
services in the Service Area are expected to increase in the 
foreseeable future, and that Royal competes directly with other 
passenger charter and shuttle service providers, including ABC 
Transportation Services, Aries Charter Transportation, Chicago Charter 
Bus, Chicago Classic Coach, Ideal Charter, Infinity Transportation, 
Signature Transportation Group, and Windy City Limousine. (Id.) 
According to Applicants, a number of passenger transportation arrangers 
or brokers for charter services operate within the Service Area, and 
passenger motor coach charter providers also compete ``with a number of 
scheduled airlines and scheduled rail transportation within the Service 
Area.'' (Id.) With regard to interstate charter service offerings, 
Applicants also state that the Service Area is geographically dispersed 
from the service areas of the National Express Affiliated Carriers, and 
there is very limited overlap in the service areas and customer bases 
among the National Express Affiliated Carriers and Royal. (Id.)
    Applicants state that there are no material fixed charges 
associated with the transaction. (Appl. 12.) Regarding the interests of 
employees, Applicants claim that the transaction is not expected to 
have substantial impacts on employees or labor conditions, nor does 
National Express anticipate a measurable reduction in force or changes 
in compensation levels and/or benefits. (Id.) Applicants submit, 
however, that staffing redundancies could result in limited downsizing 
of back-office or managerial-level personnel. (Id.)
    The Board finds that the acquisition as proposed in the application 
is consistent with the public interest and should be tentatively 
approved and authorized. If any opposing comments are timely filed, 
these findings will be deemed vacated, and, unless a final decision can 
be made on the record as developed, a procedural schedule will be 
adopted to reconsider the application. See 49 CFR 1182.6. If no 
opposing comments are filed by expiration of the comment period, this 
notice will take effect automatically and will be the final Board 
action.
    This action is categorically excluded from environmental review 
under 49 CFR 1105.6(c).
    Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov.
    It is ordered:
    1. The proposed transaction is approved and authorized, subject to 
the filing of opposing comments.
    2. If opposing comments are timely filed, the findings made in this 
notice will be deemed vacated.
    3. This notice will be effective May 14, 2019, unless opposing 
comments are filed by May 13, 2019.
    4. A copy of this notice will be served on: (1) The U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; (2) the U.S. Department of 
Justice, Antitrust Division, 10th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC 20530; and (3) the U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Office of the General Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, 
DC 20590.

    Decided: March 25, 2019.


[[Page 12016]]


    By the Board, Board Members Begeman, Fuchs, and Oberman.
Jeffrey Herzig,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2019-06057 Filed 3-28-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4915-01-P