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Public Transit and The Charter Regulations

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Public Transit and The Charter Regulations

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  1. Public Transit and The Charter Regulations Stephen R. Abernathy, AICP Intercity Bus Program Manager Brian Lagerberg, MbA Director, Public Transportation Division Paula Hammond, PE Secretary of Transportation
  2. Charter Regulations-Background Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published 49 CFR Part 604 Charter Service, Final Rule January 14, 2008. Purpose: ensure that federally funded assets owned by public transport agencies do not adversely compete with services provided by private transportation companies. Limits: public transport agencies from providing transportation for special events without prior advertising for bids on the event by organizer. Source: FTA Authorization Fact Sheet
  3. Charter Regulations-Background Defines charter service. Explains exemptions. Clarifies the existing requirements. Amends regulations governing the provision of charter service by FTA funded recipients. Allows electronic registration of private charter providers.
  4. Charter Regulations-Background Allows for Advisory Opinions & Cease & Desist orders. Established more detailed complaint, hearing & appeal process. Provides a mechanism for determining remedies in the event of a violation.
  5. Charter Regulations-Background A transit agency can segregate locally funded & maintained vehicles to provide charter service. However, garaging a vehicle in a FTA funded facility and or maintaining the vehicle with equipment purchased with FTA funds triggers the requirements of the Charter Service Rule.
  6. Charter Regulations-Exceptions Moving transit employees for transit business. Transit agencies in non-urban areas transporting it’s employees for training. Private charter operators receiving Federal assistance. Performing emergency preparedness planning & exercises. Responding to Immediate Emergencies
  7. Charter Regulations-Registration First: Decide if your agency really wants to perform the service. If the answer is ‘yes’, registration is required. Register at http://ftawebprod.fta.dot.gov/CharterRegistration/splash-charterregistration.aspx Once registered, quarterly reports must be filed every quarter.
  8. Charter Regulations-Quarterly Report
  9. Charter Regulations-Quarterly Report Quarterly reports to be sent to compliance agency i.e. WSDOT. Sent to: abernas@wsdot.wa.gov Quarterly reports record: Exception Contacts of party (name, addess, email) Log of service (date, start time, number of passengers, fees collected etc.
  10. Charter Regulations-Quarterly Report Quarterly reports must be field quarterly even if NO Charter Service was provided. Four Exceptions requiring quarterly report: Government Officials (80 hours annually) Qualified Human Service Organization Leasing (Section 604.8) When NO registered charter provider responds to notice or request for proposals (RFP)
  11. Charter Regulations-Examples of Rule It might be a charter if…
  12. Charter Regulations-Examples of Rule If a transit agency provides service that is irregular or on a limited basis for an exclusive group, but provides the service free of charge is the service exempt from charter rules? Yes. So long as there is no premium fare for the service, and no third party is paying for any of the service.
  13. Charter Regulations-Examples of Rule Is it a charter service when a local transit provides event or fair service open to the public with or without fare where the transit agency determines the routes & times and is scheduled for same time every year, but the Fair subsidizes all or part of the costs?
  14. Charter Regulations-Examples of Rule Yes! The fact that the Fair pays for the service in whole or in part means that service is charter. (Section 604.3(c)(2).
  15. Charter Regulations-Examples of Rule When a transit agency contracts out smaller, accessible vehicles for use during football games to offer service free of charge for persons with disabilities and their escorts, is this charter ?
  16. Charter Regulations-Examples of Rule YES! This service falls under the definition of charter service since contracting out involves a third party, exclusive use and a negotiated price.
  17. Charter Regulations- Cheat Sheet Rules are complex. Use this to ‘cheat sheet’ answer your questions. Don’t be hesitant to ask for assistance.
  18. Charter Regulations Key Things to Remember: Does your agency really want to do this? Once committed, register & follow the rules. The rules are complex and complicated. Be prepared to file quarterly reports-forever! Violations can result in FTA findings which could affect standing. Length – 7869 feet (Longest floating bridge over salt water) Floating portion – 6530 feet Max water depth – 340 feet Tidal Variation – 16.5 feet Center draw span opening – 600 feet
  19. Questions? Resources: Federal Transit Administration www.fta.dot.gov Federal Transit Administration Charter website: ombudsman.charterservice@dot.gov Stephen R. Abernathy, AICP Intercity Bus Program Manager Tel: 360.456.6818 abernas@wsdot.wa.gov