EQT Infrastructure V Collect EUR SCSp and EQT Infrastructure V Collect USD SCSp-Acquisition of Control-First Student, Inc.; First Transit, Inc.; First Mile Square, LLC; First Canada ULC; and Transit Management of Dutchess County, Inc., 27664-27666 [2021-10782]

Download as PDF 27664 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 97 / Friday, May 21, 2021 / Notices A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW, Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205–6734. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of the President’s major disaster declaration for Private Non-Profit organizations in the State of Washington, dated 04/08/2021, is hereby amended to include the following areas as adversely affected by the disaster. Primary Counties: Cowlitz and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. All other information in the original declaration remains unchanged. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) James Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance. [FR Doc. 2021–10703 Filed 5–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8026–03–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. FD 36515] Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company—Acquisition Exemption— Lines of Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company (SWP), a Class III rail carrier,1 has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to acquire from Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) approximately 43.34 miles of rail line in Fayette and Westmoreland Counties, Pa., as follows: (1) From milepost 0.05 in Greensburg, Pa., through milepost 2.5 at County Home Junction and milepost 17.54 at the Westmoreland/Fayette County border near Everson to the end of track at milepost 23.8 in Bullskin, Pa., a distance of approximately 23.75 miles; (2) from the connection with Norfolk Southern Railway Company at milepost 3.9 in Greensburg, Pa., to milepost 0.0 at County Home Junction (milepost 2.5 on the first line above), a distance of approximately 3.9 miles; (3) the Yukon Branch from milepost 0.0 at Hunker, Pa., to the end of track at milepost 3.5 at Waltz, Pa., a distance of approximately 3.5 miles; (4) the Mt. Pleasant Sub from milepost 3.31 near 1 The verified notice states that SWP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carload Express, Inc., a noncarrier holding company that also controls two other Class III rail carriers operating in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. See Carload Express, Inc.—Continuance in Control Exemption—Delmarva Cent. R.R., FD 36072 (STB served Dec. 2, 2016). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:15 May 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 Everson, Pa., to the end of track at approximately milepost 15.3 at Westmoreland Yard near Mount Pleasant, Pa., a distance of approximately 11.99 miles, including certain yard tracks and a 0.58-mile spur track at Westmoreland Yard; 2 and (5) the W&LE Connector from the connection with SWP at milepost 0.05 to the connection with Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company at milepost 0.25 near Everson, Pa., a distance of approximately 0.20 miles (the Lines). According to the verified notice, SWP has leased and operated the Lines since 1995.3 The verified notice states that SWP and WCIDC have executed a Purchase and Sale Agreement dated April 23, 2021, providing for SWP’s acquisition of the Lines. SWP certifies that its projected annual revenues as a result of this transaction will not result in SWP’s becoming a Class II or Class I rail carrier but that its annual revenues exceed $5 million. Pursuant to 49 CFR 1150.42(e), if a carrier’s projected annual revenues will exceed $5 million, it must, at least 60 days before the exemption is to become effective, post a notice of its intent to undertake the proposed transaction at the workplace of the employees on the affected lines, serve a copy of the notice on the national offices of the labor unions with employees on the affected lines, and certify to the Board that it has done so. However, SWP has filed a petition for waiver of the 60-day advance labor notice requirements. SWP’s waiver request will be addressed in a separate decision. The Board will establish the effective date of the exemption in its separate decision on the waiver request. SWP also certifies that the proposed acquisition and operation of the Lines does not involve a provision or agreement that may limit future interchange with a third-party connecting carrier. 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 2 SWP states that it previously acquired the segment of the Mt. Pleasant Sub from milepost 0.0 in Broad Ford, Pa., to milepost 3.31 in Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad—Acquisition Exemption— Laurel Hill Development Corp., FD 35584 (STB served Jan. 13, 2012). 3 See Sw. Pa. R.R.—Acquis. & Operation Exemption—Lines of Consolidated Rail Corp., FD 32692 (ICC served July 21, 1995); Sw. Pa. R.R.— Lease & Operation Exemption—Lines of Westmoreland Cnty. Indus. Dev. Corp., FD 32737 (ICC served July 21, 1995; Westmoreland Cnty. Indus. Dev. Corp.—Acquis. Exemption—Sw. Pa. R.R., FD 32767 (ICC served Nov. 3, 1995). PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 a petition to revoke will not automatically stay the effectiveness of the exemption. Petitions for stay must be filed no later than May 28, 2021. All pleadings, referring to Docket No. FD 36515, should be filed with the Surface Transportation Board via efiling on the Board’s website. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on SWP’s representative, Thomas J. Litwiler, Fletcher & Sippel LLC, 29 North Wacker Drive, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. According to SWP, this action is categorically excluded from environmental review under 49 CFR 1105.6(c) and from historic preservation reporting requirements under 49 CFR 1105.8(b). Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: May 17, 2021. By the Board, Scott M. Zimmerman, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings. Tammy Lowery, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2021–10734 Filed 5–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. MCF 21093] EQT Infrastructure V Collect EUR SCSp and EQT Infrastructure V Collect USD SCSp—Acquisition of Control— First Student, Inc.; First Transit, Inc.; First Mile Square, LLC; First Canada ULC; and Transit Management of Dutchess County, Inc. Surface Transportation Board. Notice Tentatively Approving and Authorizing Finance Transaction. AGENCY: ACTION: EQT Infrastructure V Collect EUR SCSp and EQT Infrastructure V Collect USD SCSp, each a noncarrier acting by its manager EQT Fund Management S.a` r.l. (jointly, Applicants or EQT), have filed an application to acquire control of First Student, Inc., First Transit, Inc., First Mile Square, LLC, First Canada ULC, and Transit Management of Dutchess County, Inc. (collectively, Target Carriers), which each hold interstate carrier operating authority in the United States, from FirstGroup plc (FirstGroup) and its subsidiary FirstBus Investments Ltd. (FirstBus), through a stock purchase agreement. 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 July 6, 2021. If any comments are filed, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21MYN1.SGM 21MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 97 / Friday, May 21, 2021 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Applicants may file a reply by July 20, 2021. If no opposing comments are filed by July 6, 2021, this notice shall be effective on July 7, 2021. ADDRESSES: Comments should be filed with the Surface Transportation Board via e-filing on the Board’s website. In addition, send one copy of comments to EQT’s representative: David H. Coburn, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, 1330 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathon Binet at (202) 245–0368. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: According to the application, Applicants form part of the fifth infrastructure investment fund established by EQT AB,1 known as EQT Infrastructure V. (Appl. 4.) The fund is organized under the laws of Luxembourg and headquartered in Luxembourg City, Lux. (Id.) Applicants state that EQT currently does not directly or indirectly control any federally regulated motor passenger carriers operating in the United States. (Id. at 2.) Under this transaction, EQT will acquire, through a stock purchase agreement, five motor passenger carriers from FirstGroup and its subsidiary FirstBus. (Id. at 1.) EQT states that FirstGroup is a public limited company organized under the laws of Scotland and headquartered in Aberdeen, Scot. (Id. at 5.) According to EQT, FirstGroup is an international transportation group that provides services in North America, where it has several operating divisions, which include the Target Carriers,2 and in the United Kingdom. The stock agreement provides for the transfer of all outstanding shares of First Transit, Inc., and FirstGroup Investment Corporation (FirstGroup Investment),3 a subsidiary of FirstGroup. (Id. at 1.) This transfer will place EQT in control of the following motor passenger carriers that each hold interstate carrier operating authority in the United States: • First Student, Inc., which provides over 900 million student journeys per year to approximately 1,000 school 1 Applicants state that EQT AB manages and advises a range of specialized investment funds and other investment vehicles that invest in companies across the world. EQT AB is not an applicant. (Appl. 3.) 2 FirstGroup also controls four interstate passenger motor carriers that are not part of the proposed transaction. (Appl. 5, Ex. 3.) 3 FirstGroup Investment is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Appl. 5.) EQT states that FirstGroup Investment is a holding company that controls four of the Target Carriers, in addition to other noncarriers that are not subject to this application. (Id.) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:15 May 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 districts, engages in interstate charter and special operations, and provides intrastate transportation in California, Washington, and Pennsylvania; • First Transit, Inc., which transports 350 million passengers annually across more than 300 locations in North America and engages in intrastate transportation in the states of California, Colorado, and Rhode Island, and in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area; • First Mile Square, LLC, which specializes in student transportation in the southeastern New York area and also conducts special and charter operations; • First Canada ULC, d/b/a First Student Canada, which provides motor passenger services in Canada but also operates some cross-border services into the United States, primarily in the form of charter bus operations; • Transit Management of Dutchess County, Inc., dba Dutchess County Mass Transit, which provides contract motor passenger transportation services in the Dutchess County, NY, area, and holds an intrastate permit authorizing it to provide motor passenger contract service within Dutchess County under contracts with the county. (Id. at 6–10.) 4 EQT states that it has no current plans to materially alter the services that the Target Carriers provide, to weaken the existing management structure that is in place to ensure the safety and reliability of such services, or to make any significant changes that would adversely affect the Target Carriers’ safety controls, employees, or customers. (Id. at 3.) Rather, EQT states, its goal is to continue providing safe and reliable motor passenger transportation to the public while improving the quality and efficiency of that transportation and enhancing the value of the Target Carriers. (Id. at 2–3.) 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 from the proposed transaction, and (3) the interest of affected carrier employees. Applicants have submitted the information required by 49 CFR 1182.2, to include information demonstrating 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 4 Additional information about the Target Carriers, including U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers, motor carrier numbers, and USDOT safety fitness ratings, can be found in the application. (Appl. 6–10, Ex. 1.) PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27665 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 ending in December 2020, see 49 CFR 1182.2(a)(5). (Appl. 11–14.) EQT asserts that the transaction will not alter the adequacy or nature of the transportation currently provided by the Target Carriers. (Id. at 13.) According to the application, EQT plans to invest in improved digital technology, such as touring software and various in-bus technologies to track and improve driver performance and safety metrics, and to accelerate existing plans made by First Student, Inc., and First Transit, Inc., for the acquisition of electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure. (Id. at 12.) EQT states that, through its investment in electrification of the Target Carrier fleets, it hopes to expedite a broader interest in the electrification and sustainability of motor vehicle fleets nationwide. (Id. at 13.) Further, EQT plans to retain the current management of each Target Carrier, including safety managers at both the corporate and local levels. (Id.) EQT also submits that the proposed transaction will have no adverse effect on the level of competition in any sector of the motor passenger business in which the Target Carriers operate because EQT does not control other federally regulated motor passenger carriers operating in the United States. (Id. at 3.) As to the fixed charges that will result from the proposed transaction, EQT states that the cost of the proposed transaction is being financed by a combination of debt and equity capital. (Id. at 13.) EQT states that the Target Carriers each have a stable revenue stream that is more than adequate to service existing and anticipated debt. (Id.) EQT also states that the Target Carriers will have access to funds from EQT Infrastructure V (which has an estimated total fund size of approximately $18 billion) and other EQT funds and will have the backing of EQT AB’s considerable capitalization. (Id.) According to EQT, the transaction is not expected to adversely affect current employees of the Target Carriers. (Id. at 14.) EQT states that it has no plans for employee layoffs or reductions in staffing and does not plan to adversely change existing employee benefits. (Id.) The Board finds that the acquisition of the Target Carriers 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 E:\FR\FM\21MYN1.SGM 21MYN1 27666 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 97 / Friday, May 21, 2021 / Notices 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 July 7, 2021, unless opposing comments are filed by July 6, 2021. 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: May 17, 2021. By the Board, Board Members Begeman, Fuchs, Oberman, Primus, and Schultz. Kenyatta Clay, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2021–10782 Filed 5–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. AB 183 (Sub-No. 5X)] Union Railroad Company, LLC— Abandonment Exemption—in the City of McKeesport, Allegheny County, PA jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Union Railroad Company, LLC (URR), has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR part 1152 subpart F— Exempt Abandonments to abandon approximately 5.4 miles of switching and terminal trackage known as the MCR Track in the City of McKeesport in Allegheny County, PA (the Line).1 The 1 URR states that the Line, which does not have mileposts, is generally bounded on the north by the Monongahela River; on the east by the McKeesport/ North Versailles Township line; on the south by Lysle Blvd., 5th Avenue, Bowman Avenue, and/or East Pittsburgh McKeesport Road; and on the west by the Youghiogheny River. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:15 May 20, 2021 Jkt 253001 Line traverses U.S. Postal Service Zip Code 15132. URR has certified that: (1) It has provided no local common carrier traffic over the Line during the past two years; (2) no overhead traffic has moved over the Line and overhead traffic, if there were any, could be rerouted over other lines; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the Line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the Line either is pending with the Surface Transportation Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the two-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 CFR 1105.7 and 1105.8 (notice of environmental and historic report), 49 CFR 1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to governmental agencies) have been met. As a condition to this exemption, any employee adversely affected by the abandonment shall be protected under Oregon Short Line Railroad— Abandonment Portion Goshen Branch Between Firth & Ammon, in Bingham & Bonneville Counties, Idaho, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) must be filed. Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) has been received,2 the exemption will be effective on June 20, 2021, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues must be filed by May 28, 2021.3 Formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2) and interim trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by June 1, 2021.4 Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by June 10, 2021. 2 Persons interested in submitting an OFA must first file a formal expression of intent to file an offer, indicating the type of financial assistance they wish to provide (i.e., subsidy or purchase) and demonstrating that they are preliminarily financially responsible. See 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2)(i). 3 The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemption’s effective date. See Exemption of Out-of-Serv. Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may take appropriate action before the exemption’s effective date. 4 Filing fees for OFAs and trail use requests can be found at 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25) and (27), respectively. PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 All pleadings, referring to Docket No. AB 183 (Sub-No. 5X), should be filed with the Surface Transportation Board via e-filing on the Board’s website. In addition, a copy of each pleading must be served on URR’s representative, Crystal M. Zorbaugh, Baker & Miller PLLC, 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037. If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio. URR has filed a combined environmental and historic report that addresses the potential effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. OEA will issue a Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) by May 28, 2021. The Draft EA will be available to interested persons on the Board’s website, by writing to OEA, or by calling OEA at (202) 245–0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Comments on environmental and historic preservation matters must be filed within 15 days after the Draft EA becomes available to the public. Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or interim trail use/rail banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent decision. Pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), URR shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the Line. If consummation has not been effected by URR’s filing of a notice of consummation by May 21, 2022, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire. Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: May 17, 2021. By the Board, Scott M. Zimmerman, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings. Brendetta Jones, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2021–10724 Filed 5–20–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD [Docket No. FD 36502] Lubbock & Western Railway, L.L.C.— Lease and Operation Exemption With Interchange Commitment—BNSF Railway Company Lubbock & Western Railway, L.L.C. (LWR), a Class III rail carrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 CFR 1150.41 to lease from BNSF E:\FR\FM\21MYN1.SGM 21MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 97 (Friday, May 21, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27664-27666]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10782]


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

SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

[Docket No. MCF 21093]


EQT Infrastructure V Collect EUR SCSp and EQT Infrastructure V 
Collect USD SCSp--Acquisition of Control--First Student, Inc.; First 
Transit, Inc.; First Mile Square, LLC; First Canada ULC; and Transit 
Management of Dutchess County, Inc.

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Notice Tentatively Approving and Authorizing Finance 
Transaction.

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

SUMMARY: EQT Infrastructure V Collect EUR SCSp and EQT Infrastructure V 
Collect USD SCSp, each a noncarrier acting by its manager EQT Fund 
Management S.[agrave] r.l. (jointly, Applicants or EQT), have filed an 
application to acquire control of First Student, Inc., First Transit, 
Inc., First Mile Square, LLC, First Canada ULC, and Transit Management 
of Dutchess County, Inc. (collectively, Target Carriers), which each 
hold interstate carrier operating authority in the United States, from 
FirstGroup plc (FirstGroup) and its subsidiary FirstBus Investments 
Ltd. (FirstBus), through a stock purchase agreement. 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 July 6, 2021. If any comments are 
filed,

[[Page 27665]]

Applicants may file a reply by July 20, 2021. If no opposing comments 
are filed by July 6, 2021, this notice shall be effective on July 7, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be filed with the Surface Transportation 
Board via e-filing on the Board's website. In addition, send one copy 
of comments to EQT's representative: David H. Coburn, Steptoe & Johnson 
LLP, 1330 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathon Binet at (202) 245-0368. 
Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal 
Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: According to the application, Applicants 
form part of the fifth infrastructure investment fund established by 
EQT AB,\1\ known as EQT Infrastructure V. (Appl. 4.) The fund is 
organized under the laws of Luxembourg and headquartered in Luxembourg 
City, Lux. (Id.) Applicants state that EQT currently does not directly 
or indirectly control any federally regulated motor passenger carriers 
operating in the United States. (Id. at 2.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Applicants state that EQT AB manages and advises a range of 
specialized investment funds and other investment vehicles that 
invest in companies across the world. EQT AB is not an applicant. 
(Appl. 3.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under this transaction, EQT will acquire, through a stock purchase 
agreement, five motor passenger carriers from FirstGroup and its 
subsidiary FirstBus. (Id. at 1.) EQT states that FirstGroup is a public 
limited company organized under the laws of Scotland and headquartered 
in Aberdeen, Scot. (Id. at 5.) According to EQT, FirstGroup is an 
international transportation group that provides services in North 
America, where it has several operating divisions, which include the 
Target Carriers,\2\ and in the United Kingdom. The stock agreement 
provides for the transfer of all outstanding shares of First Transit, 
Inc., and FirstGroup Investment Corporation (FirstGroup Investment),\3\ 
a subsidiary of FirstGroup. (Id. at 1.) This transfer will place EQT in 
control of the following motor passenger carriers that each hold 
interstate carrier operating authority in the United States:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ FirstGroup also controls four interstate passenger motor 
carriers that are not part of the proposed transaction. (Appl. 5, 
Ex. 3.)
    \3\ FirstGroup Investment is a Delaware corporation 
headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Appl. 5.) EQT states that 
FirstGroup Investment is a holding company that controls four of the 
Target Carriers, in addition to other noncarriers that are not 
subject to this application. (Id.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     First Student, Inc., which provides over 900 million 
student journeys per year to approximately 1,000 school districts, 
engages in interstate charter and special operations, and provides 
intrastate transportation in California, Washington, and Pennsylvania;
     First Transit, Inc., which transports 350 million 
passengers annually across more than 300 locations in North America and 
engages in intrastate transportation in the states of California, 
Colorado, and Rhode Island, and in the Washington, DC, metropolitan 
area;
     First Mile Square, LLC, which specializes in student 
transportation in the southeastern New York area and also conducts 
special and charter operations;
     First Canada ULC, d/b/a First Student Canada, which 
provides motor passenger services in Canada but also operates some 
cross-border services into the United States, primarily in the form of 
charter bus operations;
     Transit Management of Dutchess County, Inc., dba Dutchess 
County Mass Transit, which provides contract motor passenger 
transportation services in the Dutchess County, NY, area, and holds an 
intrastate permit authorizing it to provide motor passenger contract 
service within Dutchess County under contracts with the county. (Id. at 
6-10.) \4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Additional information about the Target Carriers, including 
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) numbers, motor carrier 
numbers, and USDOT safety fitness ratings, can be found in the 
application. (Appl. 6-10, Ex. 1.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EQT states that it has no current plans to materially alter the 
services that the Target Carriers provide, to weaken the existing 
management structure that is in place to ensure the safety and 
reliability of such services, or to make any significant changes that 
would adversely affect the Target Carriers' safety controls, employees, 
or customers. (Id. at 3.) Rather, EQT states, its goal is to continue 
providing safe and reliable motor passenger transportation to the 
public while improving the quality and efficiency of that 
transportation and enhancing the value of the Target Carriers. (Id. at 
2-3.)
    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 from the proposed transaction, and (3) the interest 
of affected carrier employees. Applicants have submitted the 
information required by 49 CFR 1182.2, to include information 
demonstrating 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 ending in December 2020, see 49 CFR 
1182.2(a)(5). (Appl. 11-14.)
    EQT asserts that the transaction will not alter the adequacy or 
nature of the transportation currently provided by the Target Carriers. 
(Id. at 13.) According to the application, EQT plans to invest in 
improved digital technology, such as touring software and various in-
bus technologies to track and improve driver performance and safety 
metrics, and to accelerate existing plans made by First Student, Inc., 
and First Transit, Inc., for the acquisition of electric vehicles and 
associated charging infrastructure. (Id. at 12.) EQT states that, 
through its investment in electrification of the Target Carrier fleets, 
it hopes to expedite a broader interest in the electrification and 
sustainability of motor vehicle fleets nationwide. (Id. at 13.) 
Further, EQT plans to retain the current management of each Target 
Carrier, including safety managers at both the corporate and local 
levels. (Id.) EQT also submits that the proposed transaction will have 
no adverse effect on the level of competition in any sector of the 
motor passenger business in which the Target Carriers operate because 
EQT does not control other federally regulated motor passenger carriers 
operating in the United States. (Id. at 3.)
    As to the fixed charges that will result from the proposed 
transaction, EQT states that the cost of the proposed transaction is 
being financed by a combination of debt and equity capital. (Id. at 
13.) EQT states that the Target Carriers each have a stable revenue 
stream that is more than adequate to service existing and anticipated 
debt. (Id.) EQT also states that the Target Carriers will have access 
to funds from EQT Infrastructure V (which has an estimated total fund 
size of approximately $18 billion) and other EQT funds and will have 
the backing of EQT AB's considerable capitalization. (Id.)
    According to EQT, the transaction is not expected to adversely 
affect current employees of the Target Carriers. (Id. at 14.) EQT 
states that it has no plans for employee layoffs or reductions in 
staffing and does not plan to adversely change existing employee 
benefits. (Id.)
    The Board finds that the acquisition of the Target Carriers 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

[[Page 27666]]

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 July 7, 2021, unless opposing 
comments are filed by July 6, 2021.
    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: May 17, 2021.

    By the Board, Board Members Begeman, Fuchs, Oberman, Primus, and 
Schultz.
Kenyatta Clay,
Clearance Clerk.
[FR Doc. 2021-10782 Filed 5-20-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P