The INVEST in America Act is a five-year, $715 billion surface transportation reauthorization and water infrastructure bill intended to reimagine U.S. roads, bridges, transit, rail, and wastewater and drinking water infrastructure.
Not surprising, there are measures in this proposed mammoth legislation that will likely impact motorcoach operators, reports Ken Presley, United Motorcoach Association’s Vice President, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs & Industry Relations/COO.
There’s a mix of some wins and some challenges, but the biggest challenge is the threat to the Charter Service Rule, which would strike the language in the rule that would weaken protections for private operators in favor of transit.
The chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure wants to modify the Charter Service Rule when local public entities contribute a local share to transit. In response, UMA is rallying Members to contact their U.S. representatives to help save the charter service protection.
“Please send a letter directly to your congressman or congresswoman, asking them to stop this thing in its tracks,” Presley said.
Analysis of INVEST in America Act
Below is Presley’s analysis of what is good and bad about the legislation:
- Minimum insurance limits increase is limited to property motor carriers only ($750,000 to $2 million).
- Commercial Driver’s Licenses for 9- to 15-passenger carriers limited to stretch limousines only.
- Instead of a rulemaking eliminating self-inspections, negotiated a provision to require a comprehensive review of state inspections, including self-inspections and a report to Congress.
- Public transit agencies may not deny private intercity or charter operators’ reasonable access to intermodal facilities, park and rides, and bus-only HOV lanes. This includes due process requirements for complaints and resolution.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is directed to revise Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) methodology within one year of enactment.
- Report to Congress on progress toward implementation of Entry-Level Driver Training.
- There is no mandate to retrofit seat belts, school bus seat belt requirement (comprehensive review), fire suppression, engine firewalls and interior flammability.
- A mandate for automatic emergency braking and electronic stability.
- Penalties for illegal passing of school bus laws (STOP for School Buses Act).
- Directs Secretary of Transportation Department to issue rulemaking within one year requiring automatic emergency braking and stability control.
- A comprehensive review of obstructive sleep apnea with mandated rulemaking to create screening criteria.
- Requires Safety Fitness Determination rule within one year; however, does not prescribe parameters.
- Mandates comprehensive review of hours of service.
- A new state grant program to aid states to impound vehicles with severe out-of-service violations.
- A mandate for universal electronic identifier on commercial vehicles two years from enactment.
- A mandate for air conditioning in school buses.