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Laidlaw Inc.-Acquisition of Control-Rockton Bus Company, Inc.

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Surface Transportation Board.


Notice tentatively approving finance transaction.


In an application filed under 49 U.S.C. 14303, Laidlaw, Inc. (Laidlaw), a noncarrier, through its indirectly controlled subsidiary, Laidlaw Transit, Inc. (Transit Inc.) (collectively referred to as Laidlaw), seeks to acquire indirect control of Rockton Bus Company, Inc. (Rockton), a motor passenger carrier. Persons wishing to oppose the application must follow the rules under 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8. The Board has tentatively approved the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action.


Comments must be filed by August 26, 2002. Applicant may file a reply by September 9, 2002. If no comments are filed by August 26, 2002, this notice is effective on that date.


Send an original and 10 copies of any comments referring to STB Docket No. MC-F-20990 to: (1) Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. In addition, send one copy of any comments to applicant's representative: Fritz R. Kahn, 1920 N Street (8th Floor), NW., Washington, DC 20036-1601.

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Beryl Gordon, (202) 565-1600. [TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-877-8339.]

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Rockton is a motor passenger carrier that is authorized to provide special and charter operations pursuant to federally issued authority in Docket No. MC-165295. Laidlaw submits that, pursuant to a voting trust agreement, dated November 1, 1999, Transit, Inc., acquired all of Rockton's outstanding shares of stock.

Laidlaw directly or indirectly controls a number of motor passenger carriers, including Transit, Inc. (MC-161299). Laidlaw's motor passenger carrier subsidiaries, with the exception of Greyhound Lines, Inc. (Greyhound), are largely limited to charter and special operations in the United States. Greyhound holds federally issued operating authority in Docket No. MC-1515 and provides mainly nationwide, scheduled regular-route operations. As a result of the proposed acquisition, Laidlaw asserts that Rockton will be able to offer its Illinois and Iowa originated passengers tour and sightseeing services over an expanded area and that the addition of Rockton to the Laidlaw family will promote the efficient use of buses and ensure that Rockton and the other Laidlaw affiliates will have an adequate number of buses to serve the public.

Under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b), we must approve and authorize a transaction we find consistent with the public interest, taking into consideration at least: (1) The effect of the transaction on the adequacy of transportation to the public; (2) the total fixed charges that result; and (3) the interest of affected carrier employees.

Applicant has submitted the information required by 49 CFR 1182.2, including information to demonstrate that the proposed transaction is consistent with the public interest under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b). Specifically, applicant has shown that the proposed acquisition of control will have a positive effect on the adequacy of transportation to the public and will result in no increase in fixed charges and no changes in employment. See 49 CFR 1182.2(a)(7). Additional information may be obtained from applicant's representative.

On the basis of the application, we find that the proposed transaction is consistent with the public interest and should be authorized. If any opposing comments are timely filed, this finding will be deemed vacated and, unless a final decision can be made on the record as developed, a procedural schedule will be adopted to reconsider the application. See 49 CFR 1182.6(c). If no opposing comments are filed by the expiration of the comment period, this decision will take effect automatically and will be the final Board action.

Board decisions and notices are available on our website at: “http://WWW.STB.DOT.GOV.”

This decision will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.

It is ordered:

1. The proposed acquisition of control is approved and authorized, subject to the filing of opposing comments.

2. If timely opposing comments are filed, the findings made in this decision will be deemed as having been vacated.

3. This decision will be effective on August 26, 2002, unless timely opposing comments are filed.

4. A copy of this notice will be served on: (1) The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 7th Street, Start Printed Page 46023SW., Room 8214, 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, 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.

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Decided: July 2, 2002.

By the Board, Chairman Morgan and Vice Chairman Burkes.

Vernon A. Williams,


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[FR Doc. 02-17110 Filed 7-10-02; 8:45 am]