Surface Transportation Board July 2012 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Petition for Rulemaking To Adopt Revised Competitive Switching Rules
Document Number: 2012-18687
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-07-31
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
The Surface Transportation Board (the Board) is commencing a proceeding to consider a proposal submitted by The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) to increase rail-to-rail competition. The Board is seeking empirical evidence about the impact of the proposal, if it were to be adopted. Specifically, the Board is seeking public input on the proposal's impact on rail shippers' rates and service, including shippers that would not benefit under NITL's proposal; the proposal's impact on the rail industry, including its financial condition and network efficiencies; along with methodologies for the access price that would be used in conjunction with competitive switching.
Rate Regulation Reforms
Document Number: 2012-18514
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-07-30
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
The Surface Transportation Board (Board) proposes to change some of its existing regulations and procedures concerning rate complaint proceedings. The Board previously created two simplified procedures to reduce the time, complexity, and expense of rate cases. The Board now proposes to modify its rules to remove the limitation on relief for one simplified approach, and to double the relief available under the other simplified approach. The Board also proposes technical changes to the full and simplified rate procedures, and to raise the interest rate that railroads must pay on reparations if they are found to have charged unreasonable rates. The overarching goal is to ensure that the Board's simplified and expedited processes for resolving rate disputes are more accessible.
Information Collection Activities (Depreciation Studies)
Document Number: 2012-18428
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-30
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501- 3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (Board) gives notice of its intent to request from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the information collectionRail Depreciation Studiesfurther described below. Comments are requested concerning (1) whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate. Submitted comments will be included and/or summarized in the Board's request for OMB approval.
Fees for Services Performed in Connection With Licensing and Related Services-2012 Update
Document Number: 2012-17923
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-07-27
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
The Board adopts its 2012 user-fee update and revises its fee schedule to reflect some increases to its full cost calculations, the result of no wage & salary increases given in January 2012, no change to publication costs from their 2011 levels, coupled with both increases and decreases to the Board's three overhead cost factors.
BNSF Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Los Angeles County, CA
Document Number: 2012-18152
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-25
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
Progressive Rail, Incorporated-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Barron County, WI
Document Number: 2012-18128
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-25
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
Twin Cities & Western Railroad Company, the Estate of Douglas M. Head, and the DMH Trust fbo Martha M. Head-Continuance in Control Exemption-Sisseton Milbank Railroad Company
Document Number: 2012-17847
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-23
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
The Board is granting an exemption under 49 U.S.C. 10502 from the prior approval requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11323-25 for Twin Cities & Western Railroad Company (TCW), a Class III rail carrier, and the Estate of Douglas M. Head (the Estate), a noncarrier, to continue in control of Sisseton Milbank Railroad Company (SMRC) upon SMRC's becoming a Class III rail carrier in a related transaction. That related transaction involves SMRC's acquisition from Sisseton Milbank Railroad, Inc. (SMRR) and SLA Property Management Limited Partnership (SLA) of their interests in, and operation of, approximately 37.1 miles of rail line situated in Grant and Roberts Counties, S.D. (the Line).\1\ Because all the carriers involved are Class III carriers, the continuance-in-control exemption is not subject to labor protective conditions. The Estate currently controls TCW, which, in turn, controls Minnesota Prairie Line, Inc. (MPL), also a Class III rail carrier. After the consummation of the acquisition transaction, SMRC and TCW will connect in or near Milbank, S.D.
Professional Transportation, Inc.-Asset Acquisition-CUSA ES, LLC and CUSA CSS, LLC
Document Number: 2012-17596
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-20
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
Notice and Request for Comments
Document Number: 2012-17615
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-19
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3519 (PRA), the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) gives notice that it has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval of the information collection required from those seeking licensing authority under 49 U.S.C. 10901-03 and consolidation authority under Sec. Sec. 11323-26. Under these Title 49 provisions, rail carriers and non-carriers are required to file an application with the Board, or seek an exemption (through petition or notice) from the full application process under Sec. 10502, before they may construct, acquire, or operate a line of railroad; abandon or discontinue operations over a line of railroad; or consolidate their interests through a merger or common-control arrangement. The Board previously published a notice about this collection in the Federal Register on December 12, 2011, at 76 FR 77312-14 (60-day notice). That notice allowed for a 60-day public review and comment period. No comments were received. The information collection for which approval is sought is described in detail below. Comments may now be submitted to OMB concerning: (1) The accuracy of the Board's burden estimates; (2) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (3) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, when appropriate; and (4) whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Board, including whether the collection has practical utility.
El Expreso Group, LLC-Asset Acquisition-CUSA EE, LLC D/B/A El Expreso
Document Number: 2012-17184
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-13
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
On June 12, 2012, noncarrier El Expreso Group, LLC (El Expreso Group or Applicant) filed an application for approval under 49 U.S.C. 14303 to acquire control of the assets of CUSA EE, LLC d/b/a El Expreso (CUSA EE) (MC-463171), an interstate motor passenger carrier subsidiary of noncarrier Coach America Holdings, Inc. (Coach America).\1\ On June 13, 2012, Michael Yusim, an individual, filed a letter in opposition to the proposed transaction, asserting that the public interest would not be served by allowing the transaction to proceed without certain Department of Labor proceedings first being completed. A copy of this notice will be served on Mr. Yusim. Persons wishing to oppose the application must follow the rules set forth at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8.
Frank Sherman, FSCS Corporation, TMS West Coast, Inc.,
Document Number: 2012-16277
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-03
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
On June 4, 2012, Frank Sherman, an individual who controls motor passenger carriers, together with FSCS Corporation, a noncarrier holding company; TMS West Coast, Inc., a noncarrier holding company; Evergreen Trails, Inc. d/b/a Horizon Coach Lines (Evergreen), an interstate motor passenger carrier; and Cabana Coaches, LLC (Cabana), an interstate motor passenger carrier (collectively, Applicants) filed an application for approval under 49 U.S.C. 14303 to acquire the assets of 12 separate interstate motor passenger common carrier subsidiaries of noncarrier Coach America Holdings, Inc. (Coach America)American Charters, Ltd. (Charters); American Coach Lines of Jacksonville, Inc. (Coach-Jacksonville); American Coach Lines of Miami, Inc. (Coach- Miami); American Coach Lines of Orlando, Inc. (Coach-Orlando); CUSA ASL, LLC; CUSA BCCAE, LLC; CUSA CC, LLC; CUSA FL, LLC; CUSA GCBS, LLC; CUSA GCT, LLC; CUSA K-TCS, LLC; and Midnight Sun Tours, Inc. (Midnight Sun) (collectively, Coach America Subsidiaries)and to consolidate certain of those assets into Evergreen and others into Cabana. Specifically, the transaction contemplates that: (1) the assets of Charters; Coach-Jacksonville; Coach-Orlando; CUSA ASL, LLC; CUSA BCCAE, LLC; CUSA CC, LLC; CUSA FL, LLC; CUSA GCBS, LLC; CUSA GCT, LLC; and CUSA K-TCS, LLC, would be purchased by either FSCS or Evergreen to be operated under the Horizon Coach Lines name; and (2) the assets of Coach-Miami and Midnight Sun would be purchased by either FSCS or Cabana and consolidated into Cabana. Cabana would also adopt the d/b/a name ``Horizon Coach Lines,'' and the assets consolidated into Cabana would be operated under that name. Under an asset purchase agreement that was entered into on May 18, 2012, see infra, another company controlled by Sherman, Transportation Management Services, Inc. (TMS), obtained the right to purchase the Coach America Subsidiaries. TMS is to assign its right to purchase to either FSCS or to Evergreen and Cabana. If TMS assigns its right to purchase to Evergreen and Cabana, Cabana will receive the right to purchase the assets of Coach-Miami and Midnight Sun and Evergreen will receive the right to purchase the assets of all of the other Coach America Subsidiaries identified above. On June 6, 2012, Michael Yusim, an individual, filed a letter in opposition to the proposed transaction, asserting that the public interest would not be served by allowing the transaction to proceed until two cases before the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) are completed. On June 19, 2012, the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), a California public agency that operates a regional bus system with connections to municipal and local transit operators, filed a request for delay of the proposed acquisition of assets or for conditions. Copies of this notice will be served on Mr. Yusim and VCTC. Persons wishing to oppose the application must follow the rules set forth at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8.
Assessment of Mediation and Arbitration Procedures
Document Number: 2012-16242
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-03
Agency: Surface Transportation Board, Department of Transportation
In a decision served on March 28, 2012, the Surface Transportation Board (Board) proposed regulations intended to increase the use of mediation and arbitration in lieu of formal adjudication to resolve disputes before the Board. Interested parties were asked to file written comments on these proposed regulations by May 17, 2012, and replies by June 18, 2012. The Board will hold a public hearing on August 2, 2012, to explore the issues raised in these comments and replies.