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Notice of Request for the Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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Federal Transit Administration, DOT.


Notice of request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to extend the following currently approved information collection: Charter Service Operations.


Comments must be submitted before September 21, 2004.


All written comments must refer to the docket number that appears at the top of this document and be submitted to the United States Department of Transportation, Central Dockets Office, PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. All comments received will be available for examination at the above address from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Those desiring notification of receipt of comments must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard/envelope.

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Ms. Elizabeth Martineau, Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-1936.

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Interested parties are invited to send comments regarding any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) The necessity and utility of the information collection for the proper performance of the functions of the FTA; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways to minimize the collection burden without reducing the quality of the collected information. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection. Start Printed Page 44077

Title: Charter Service Operations (OMB Number: 2132-0543).

Background: All applicants for financial assistance from FTA are required by 49 U.S.C. Section 5323(d) to enter into a charter bus agreement with the Secretary of Transportation (delegated to the Administrator of FTA in 49 CFR Section 1.51(a)). This statute provides protections for private intercity charter bus operators from unfair competition by FTA recipients. The Comptroller General interpreted the statutory definition of “mass transportation” [49 U.S.C. Section 5302(a)(7)] to permit FTA recipients to provide charter bus service with FTA-funded facilities and equipment if the service is “incidental” to the provision of mass transportation service. The Comptroller General's interpretation regarding “incidental use” is implemented in FTA's charter service regulation, 49 CFR Part 604.

All applicants for financial assistance under 49 U.S.C. Sections 5309, 5336, or 5311 are required by 49 CFR Section 604.7 to include two copies of a charter bus agreement with the first grant application submitted after the effective date of the rule. The applicant signs the agreement, but FTA executes it only upon approval of the application. This is a one-time submission with incorporation by reference in subsequent grant applications. If a recipient desires to provide charter service, 49 CFR Section 604.11 requires recipients to provide notice to all private charter operators to submit written evidence demonstrating that they are willing and able to provide the charter service the recipient is proposing to provide. The notice must be published annually in a newspaper and sent to all private charter operators in the proposed geographic area, to any private charter operator that requests notice, and to the United Bus Owners of America and the American Bus Association, the two trade associations to which most private charter operators belong. Recipients are required by 49 CFR Section 604.13 to review the evidence submitted.

Respondents: State and local government, business or other for-profit institutions, and non-profit institutions.

Estimated Annual Burden on Respondents: 1.2 hours for each of the 1,656 respondents.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,984 hours.

Frequency: Annual.

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Issued: July 19, 2004.

Ann M. Linnertz,

Deputy Associate Administrator for Administration.

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[FR Doc. 04-16843 Filed 7-22-04; 8:45 am]