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Notice

Laidlaw Inc.-Acquisition of Control-C. Seeley's Bus Lines Ltd.

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION:

Notice Tentatively Approving Finance Transaction.

SUMMARY:

In an application filed under 49 U.S.C. 14303, Laidlaw, Inc. (Laidlaw), a noncarrier, through its indirectly controlled subsidiary, Laidlaw Transit Ltd. (Transit Ltd.) (collectively referred to as Laidlaw), seeks to acquire indirect control of C. Seeley's Bus Lines Ltd. (Seeley's Bus), 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.

DATES:

Comments must be filed by November 4, 2002. Applicant may file a reply by November 18, 2002. If no comments are filed by November 4, 2002, this notice is effective on that date.

ADDRESSES:

Send an original and 10 copies of any comments referring to STB Docket No. MC-F-20993 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, NW., (8th Floor), Washington, DC 20036-1601.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Beryl Gordon, (202) 565-1600. [Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) for the hearing impaired: 1-800-877-8339.]

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Seeley's Bus is a motor passenger carrier that is authorized to provide special and charter operations pursuant to federally issued authority in Docket No. MC-203827. Laidlaw submits that, pursuant to a voting trust agreement, dated May 31, 2002, Transit Ltd. has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of stock of Seeley's Bus.

Laidlaw directly or indirectly controls a number of motor passenger carriers, including Transit Ltd. (MC-102189). 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 Seeley's Bus will be able to offer its Ontario-originated passengers tour and sightseeing services over an expanded area within the United States that is served by Laidlaw's other affiliated motor passenger carriers. Laidlaw states that the affiliation of Seeley's Bus with its other Laidlaw affiliates will ensure that Seeley's Bus will have an adequate number of buses to meet the needs of the traveling public. At the same time, Seeley's Bus will have the opportunity to make its buses available to other Laidlaw affiliates when those buses are underutilized.

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 Start Printed Page 58834and 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 Web site at: http://www.stb.dot.gov.

This decision will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment or the conversation 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 November 4, 2002, unless timely opposing comments are filed.

4. A copy of this notice will served on: (1) The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 7th Street, SW., 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: September 9, 2002.

By the Board, Chairman Morgan and Vice Chairman Burkes.

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 02-23469 Filed 9-17-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-00-P