Title 49 Part 604 → Subpart A
Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter VI → Part 604 → Subpart A
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 49 Part 604 → Subpart A
(a) The purpose of this part is to implement 49 U.S.C. 5323(d), which protects private charter operators from unauthorized competition from recipients of Federal financial assistance under the Federal Transit Laws.
(b) This subpart specifies which entities shall comply with the charter service regulations; defines terms used in this part; explains procedures for an exemption from this part; and sets out the contents of a charter service agreement.
(a) The requirements of this part shall apply to recipients of Federal financial assistance under the Federal Transit Laws, except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section.
(b) The requirements of this part shall not apply to a recipient transporting its employees, other transit system employees, transit management officials, transit contractors and bidders, government officials and their contractors and official guests, to or from transit facilities or projects within its geographic service area or proposed geographic service area for the purpose of conducting oversight functions such as inspection, evaluation, or review.
(c) The requirements of this part shall not apply to private charter operators that receive, directly or indirectly, Federal financial assistance under section 3038 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, as amended, or to the non-FTA funded activities of private charter operators that receive, directly or indirectly, FTA financial assistance under any of the following programs: 49 U.S.C. 5307, 49 U.S.C. 5309, 49 U.S.C. 5310, 49 U.S.C. 5311, 49 U.S.C. 5316, or 49 U.S.C. 5317.
(d) The requirements of this part shall not apply to a recipient transporting its employees, other transit system employees, transit management officials, transit contractors and bidders, government officials and their contractors and official guests, for emergency preparedness planning and operations.
(e) The requirements of this part shall not apply to a recipient that uses Federal financial assistance from FTA, for program purposes only, under 49 U.S.C. 5310, 49 U.S.C. 5311, 49 U.S.C. 5316, or 49 U.S.C. 5317.
(f) The requirements of this part shall not apply to a recipient, for actions directly responding to an emergency declared by the President, governor, or mayor or in an emergency requiring immediate action prior to a formal declaration. If the emergency lasts more than 45 days, the recipient shall follow the procedures set out in subpart D of 49 CFR 601.
(g) The requirements of this part shall not apply to a recipient in a non-urbanized area transporting its employees, other transit system employees, transit management officials, and transit contractors and bidders to or from transit training outside its geographic service area.
All terms defined in 49 U.S.C. 5301 et seq. are used in their statutory meaning in this part. Other terms used in this part are defined as follows:
(a) “Federal Transit Laws” means 49 U.S.C. 5301 et seq., and includes 23 U.S.C. 103(e)(4), 142(a), and 142(c), when used to provide assistance to public transit agencies for purchasing buses and vans.
(b) “Administrator” means the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration or his or her designee.
(c) “Charter service” means, but does not include demand response service to individuals:
(1) Transportation provided by a recipient at the request of a third party for the exclusive use of a bus or van for a negotiated price. The following features may be characteristic of charter service:
(i) A third party pays the transit provider a negotiated price for the group;
(ii) Any fares charged to individual members of the group are collected by a third party;
(iii) The service is not part of the transit provider's regularly scheduled service, or is offered for a limited period of time; or
(iv) A third party determines the origin and destination of the trip as well as scheduling; or
(2) Transportation provided by a recipient to the public for events or functions that occur on an irregular basis or for a limited duration and:
(i) A premium fare is charged that is greater than the usual or customary fixed route fare; or
(ii) The service is paid for in whole or in part by a third party.
(d) “Charter service hours” means total hours operated by buses or vans while in charter service including:
(1) Hours operated while carrying passengers for hire, plus
(2) Associated deadhead hours.
(e) “Chief Counsel” means the Chief Counsel of FTA and his or her designated employees.
(f) “Days” means calendar days. The last day of a time period is included in the computation of time unless the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which case, the time period runs until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
(g) “Demand response” means any non-fixed route system of transporting individuals that requires advanced scheduling by the customer, including services provided by public entities, nonprofits, and private providers.
(h) “Exclusive” means service that a reasonable person would conclude is intended to exclude members of the public.
(i) “FTA” means the Federal Transit Administration.
(j) “Geographic service area” means the entire area in which a recipient is authorized to provide public transportation service under appropriate local, state, and Federal law.
(k) “Government official” means an individual elected or appointed at the local, state, or Federal level.
(l) “Interested party” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization that has a financial interest that is affected by the actions of a recipient providing charter service under the Federal Transit Laws. This term includes states, counties, cities, and their subdivisions, and tribal nations.
(m) “Pattern of violations” means more than one finding of unauthorized charter service under this part by FTA beginning with the most recent finding of unauthorized charter service and looking back over a period not to exceed 72 months.
(n) “Presiding Official” means an official or agency representative who conducts a hearing at the request of the Chief Counsel and who has had no previous contact with the parties concerning the issue in the proceeding.
(o) “Program purposes” means transportation that serves the needs of either human service agencies or targeted populations (elderly, individuals with disabilities, and or low income individuals); this does not include exclusive service for other groups formed for purposes unrelated to the special needs of the targeted populations identified herein.
(p) “Public transportation” has the meaning set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5302(a)(10).
(q) “Qualified human service organization” means an organization that serves persons who qualify for human service or transportation-related programs or services due to disability, income, or advanced age. This term is used consistent with the President's Executive Order on Human Service Transportation Coordination (February 24, 2004).
(r) “Recipient” means an agency or entity that receives Federal financial assistance, either directly or indirectly, including subrecipients, under the Federal Transit Laws. This term does not include third-party contractors who use non-FTA funded vehicles.
(s) “Registered charter provider” means a private charter operator that wants to receive notice of charter service requests directed to recipients and has registered on FTA's charter registration Web site.
(t) “Registration list” means the current list of registered charter providers and qualified human service organizations maintained on FTA's charter registration Web site.
(u) “Special transportation” means demand response or paratransit service that is regular and continuous and is a type of “public transportation.”
(v) “Violation” means a finding by FTA of a failure to comply with one of the requirements of this Part.
§604.4 Charter service agreement.
(a) A recipient seeking Federal assistance under the Federal Transit Laws to acquire or operate any public transportation equipment or facilities shall enter into a “Charter Service Agreement” as set out in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) A recipient shall enter into a Charter Service Agreement if it receives Federal funds for equipment or facilities under the Federal Transit Laws. The terms of the Charter Service Agreement are as follows: “The recipient agrees that it, and each of its subrecipients, and third party contractors at any level who use FTA-funded vehicles, may provide charter service using equipment or facilities acquired with Federal assistance authorized under the Federal Transit Laws only in compliance with the regulations set out in 49 CFR 604, the terms and conditions of which are incorporated herein by reference.”
(c) The Charter Service Agreement is contained in the Certifications and Assurances published annually by FTA for applicants for Federal financial assistance. Once a recipient receives Federal funds, the Certifications and Assurances become part of its Grant Agreement or Cooperative Agreement for Federal financial assistance.