FMCSA delays bus lease and interchange rule

Rule pushed back to take effect on January 1, 2021

Posted December 5, 2018

Federal regulators have officially postponed a controversial 2015 rule meant to help enforcement officials correctly identify bus and motorcoach operators who lease or interchange their vehicles.

After multiple delays, the rule was supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2019, but that date has been pushed back another two years until January 1, 2021.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced its intent to delay the rule earlier this year but did not make it official until Tuesday, December 4, 2018.

The delay gives the agency time to refashion the rule as found in 49 CFR Part 390, Subpart F. The FMCSA says it plans to slash many requirements from the rule, resulting in about 75 percent of passenger carriers being entirely exempt.

The changes should result in an industry-wide savings of roughly $8 million per year in compliance costs, the FMCSA estimates.

The 2015 rule takes aim at “rogue” bus operators who use lease agreements to shield their identity from federal regulators. The industry argued that the rule would fundamentally alter the way they do business, without increasing highway safety.


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