UMA Commends the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for Addressing Its Major Priorities in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act

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The United Motorcoach Association (UMA) commends the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for reporting the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 to reauthorize Federal surface transportation programs and advancing many of UMA’s priorities.

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The United Motorcoach Association (UMA) commends the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for reporting the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 to reauthorize Federal surface transportation programs and advancing many of UMA’s priorities. “We applaud the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for reporting a strong bill to address America’s infrastructure needs and the most pressing issues facing the motorcoach industry” states Brian Annett, CEO of Annett Bus Lines and UMA Chairman.”

Of primary importance to UMA are provisions addressing minimum levels of insurance and Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) Reform. The bill requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to conduct a comprehensive study of passenger carrier industries’ accident and claims histories before being permitted to proceed to radically increase minimum insurance rates. The FMCSA has a pending rulemaking that could potentially increase motorcoach operators’ insurance rates by over 400% without any study or analysis of the issue. UMA believes current rates are adequate. Also important is the provision in the bill that requires FMCSA to go back to the drawing board to fix the flawed Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program and require outward facing scores to be taken down from public view until the reforms are completed. The CSA program made up of erroneous and flawed data and scores has caused tremendous harm to motorcoach operators by making that information available to consumers without any ability to discern a safe carrier from an unsafe carrier. UMA supports the intent of CSA to identify the highest risk carriers and applauds the Committee for forcing the agency to reform this program so that it achieves its intended purpose. “UMA is deeply grateful to Chairman Bill Shuster, Subcommittee Chairman Sam Graves, Ranking Member Peter DeFazio, Ranking Subcommittee Member Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congressman Scott Perry and Congressman Lou Barletta for their leadership in supporting rational and more informed approaches to the Association’s two highest priority issues” states Victor S. Parra, President and CEO of UMA.

Other highlights of the bill that UMA advocated for in the bill include prevention of en route inspections at weigh stations, swifter review of approvals for new entrants, significant reform to FMCSA’s regulatory processes requiring more sunlight and ability for input by stakeholders particularly on major rules, imposition of a significant financial penalty for one metropolitan region which has been legislatively exempted from enforcement of Federal charter service rules and parity with public transit in tolling policy.

UMA thanks its member companies for supporting UMA’s multiple advocacy efforts that helped make these successes possible. UMA advocated for these issues for the last several years during its annual Fly-In events in Washington, DC, Capitol Hill Days. UMA Fly-In’s draw members to Washington from all over the country and have grown dramatically in size and scope to become the strongest collective voice of the industry. Supplemented by UMA’s year round advocacy work, including testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in April on many of these issues, all of its advocacy efforts have served to make UMA a recognized leader of the industry in Washington.    

UMA looks forward to continuing to work with the Committee as it moves the bill to the floor of the House of Representatives, to conference with the Senate and then on to the President for his signature.    

About UMA
The United Motorcoach Association is North America’s largest association for operators of motorcoach companies providing charter, tour and regular route services. Founded in 1971, UMA is comprised of over 900 professional bus and motorcoach companies who provide transportation services in all fifty states, Canada and Mexico, and more than 250 supplier, manufacturer, and travel partner members. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, UMA is dedicated to protecting and promoting the interests of the entire motorcoach industry and providing its members with programs and services to enhance the success of their operations. More information can be obtained by visiting http://www.uma.org.

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Terri Tackett
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