Owners of bus and motorcoach companies should sign up for the Charter Service Registry to show Congress that the Charter Service Rule, which protects private companies from competing against local transit, is important for the industry.
For years, Ken Presley, United Motorcoach Association’s Vice President, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs & Industry Relations/COO, has been an advocate for the Federal Transit Administration registry.
“If you are not registered, you cannot use the charter service regulation to prevent a public transit from taking a charter or file a complaint,” Presley said. “The regulation is there for your protection — register!”
After he offered that advice during a Jan. 21 UMA Town Hall, the list grew from 217 to 284.
UMA is looking at the Charter Service Registry as a way to jump-start this year’s legislative agenda with a strong showing, leading into work to get relief funding this spring.
“If you watch the news at all, you’ll see that Democrats are going to submit another relief bill, and they hope to pass it by mid-March,” Presley said. “We are trying to get CERTS 2.0 in that bill to see if we can get another slug of money to help the industry. So, there’s a lot of work and a lot of lobbyists working on that right now.”
Dwindling participation in the FTA’s Charter Service Registry could put the program in jeopardy. Presley thinks the list should include closer to 2,000 operators.
“We need to get busy. Tell your friends, your competitors, to get on there,” he said of the registry. “We need to demonstrate that the current charter rule is important. We need to show Congress we care about that bill by showing registrations.”
He also reminded those who are registered that they need to ensure their information in the registry is up to date and not use any old emails since staff can change.
“This is a good defensive measure to show that we want to protect ourselves against transit,” said UMA President and CEO Larry Killingsworth. “It’s also a good way to get new business. In the spirit of renewal and new thinking, this is one of those things, you just do it.”