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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No.

18 / Friday, January 28, 2005 / Proposed Rules 4081

Management and Budget (OMB) the Extramural Outreach and Electronic Access
approval under the Paperwork Information Resources Office (EOIRO), An electronic copy of this document
Reduction Act of 1995, as amended (44 Office of Extramural Research, 6701 may be downloaded using a modem and
U.S.C. chapter 35). Rockledge Drive, Room 6208, MSC suitable communication software from
7910, Bethesda, Maryland 20892–7910, the Government Printing Office’s
Catalogue of Federal Domestic
telephone 301–435–0714 (not a toll-free Electronic Bulletin Board Service at
Assistance
number), to obtain references to the (202) 512–1661. Internet users may
The Catalogue of Federal Domestic current version and any amendments. reach the Federal Register’s home page
Assistance numbered program affected Information may also be obtained by at: http://www.archives.gov and the
by the proposed regulation is: 93.865. contacting the EOIRO via e-mail address Government Printing Office’s database
List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 63a (nih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov) and at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nar.
browsing the NIH Home Page site on the
Grant programs—health, Health- World Wide Web (http://www.nih.gov).) Background
medical research. ‘‘Public Health Service Policy on On May 3, 1999, the Federal Transit
Dated: May 27, 2004. Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Administration published a Notice of
Elias A. Zerhouni, Animals,’’ Office of Laboratory Animal Proposed Rulemaking proposing to
Director, National Institutes of Health. Welfare (Amended August, 2002). amend its tripper service definition to
Approved: January 14, 2005. (NOTE: This policy is subject to change, clarify that buses used in tripper service
and interested persons should contact may not carry destination signs such as
Tommy G. Thompson,
the Office of Laboratory Animal ‘‘student’’ or any other marking
Secretary.
Welfare, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite indicating that they are carrying school
For the reasons set forth in the 360, MSC 7982, Bethesda, Maryland children. Further, the rule would have
preamble, we propose to amend chapter 20892–7982, telephone 301–594–2382 clarified that, as consistent with the
1 of title 42 of the Code of Federal (not a toll-free number), to obtain current regulation, these buses may only
Regulations as set forth below. references to the current version and stop at stops that are accessible to the
any amendments. Information may also public and that are clearly marked as
PART 63a—NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF be obtained by browsing the Office of
HEALTH TRAINING GRANTS available to the public. 64 FR 23590,
Laboratory Animal Welfare Home Page May 3, 1999.
1. The authority citation of part 63a site on the World Wide Web (http://
www.grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/ Discussion of Comments on the NPRM
would be revised to read as follows:
olaw.htm).) FTA received sixty comments on its
Authority: 42 U.S.C. 216, 242l(b)(3),
284(b)(1)(C), 285g–10, 287c(b), 300cc– [FR Doc. 05–1621 Filed 1–27–05; 8:45 am] proposal to amend the definition of
15(a)(1), 300cc–41(a)(3)(C), 7403(h)(2). BILLING CODE 4140–01–P
tripper service.
2. Section 63a.1 would be amended Comments Supporting the Proposed
by revising paragraph (a)(2) to read as Changes
follows: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Three commenters expressed support
§ 63a.1 To what programs do these for FTA’s proposed amendment to the
Federal Transit Administration
regulations apply? tripper service definition. One
commenter suggested that destination
* * * * * 49 CFR Part 605
(a) * * * signs be permitted to inform the rider
[Docket No. FTA–99–5082] where the bus route goes. Another
(1) * * *
(2) Grants awarded by NIH for RIN 2131–AA67 commenter was concerned that those
research training with respect to the who opposed the changes were
human diseases, disorders, or other School Bus Operations; Amendment of confusing the issue of safety of school
aspects of human health or biomedical Tripper Service Definition children with the tripper service
research for which the institute or other definition. The commenter stated that
AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration the issue of safety of school children on
awarding component was established, (FTA), DOT.
for which fellowship support is not public transportation is an important
ACTION: Withdrawal of rulemaking. one that merits its own separate
provided under section 487 of the Act
and which is not residency training of rulemaking. One other commenter
SUMMARY: This document withdraws the recommended that if FTA is not going
physicians or other health professionals, rulemaking in which the Federal Transit
as authorized by sections 405(b)(1)(C), to eliminate tripper service, it should
Administration (FTA) proposed to ensure timely and aggressive
452G, 485B(b), 2315(a)(1), and amend its tripper service definition to
2354(a)(3)(C) of the Act; and enforcement of the regulations.
clarify which student transportation
* * * * * operations are inconsistent with FTA Comments Opposing the Proposed
3. Section 63a.11 would be amended requirements. The rulemaking is being Changes
by revising the 17th and 18th withdrawn because after consideration Stopping at Marked Public Stops
undesignated paragraphs to read as of the comments, FTA has concluded
follows: that no regulatory clarification is Twenty-three commenters objected to
necessary. the proposed amendment to the tripper
§ 63a.11 Other HHS regulations and service definition that would clarify that
policies that apply. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: buses may stop only at stops that are
* * * * * Elizabeth S. Martineau, Office of Chief accessible to the public and that are
‘‘NIH Grants Policy Statement,’’ NIH Counsel, Federal Transit clearly marked as available to the
Publication No. 99–8 (October 1998). Administration, (202) 366–1936 or (202) public. Although the law currently
(NOTE: this policy is subject to change, 366–3809 (fax). prohibits stops on property that is not
and interested persons should contact SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: accessible to the general public,

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4082 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 18 / Friday, January 28, 2005 / Proposed Rules

nineteen commenters cited the risk to from yellow school buses is placed on adding to the time it takes the student
student safety from not being picked up transit buses. to reach the school.
and discharged on school property as a
Enlarge Scope To Address Safety Agency Response
reason for objecting to the proposed
Generally Given the comments on the proposed
amendment.
Commenters also raised non-safety- Eleven commenters suggested that, rulemaking, FTA has decided to
related objections to the requirement rather than focus on one aspect of the withdraw this rulemaking as
that buses providing tripper service may tripper service definition, FTA should unnecessary. FTA believes that the
only stop at marked public stops. Eight work with the school transportation and proposed amendments to the regulation
commenters objected to the requirement public transit communities to address were merely clarifying in nature, and
because buses in suburban and rural the safety needs of school students on not necessary to the enforcement of
areas often stop at unmarked flag stops public transit vehicles. Nine of the current law and regulation. The
that are known to the public. Seven commenters opposed the proposed comments received generally indicated
commenters stated that loading and amendment entirely, arguing that it is objections to the underlying law and
unloading students on school property shortsighted. The National Association current regulations, rather than to the
prevents impediments to traffic flow on of State Directors of Pupil clarifying amendments, indicating that
public streets. Seven commenters noted Transportation Services (NASDPTS) confusion about the intent of the current
that in other situations buses are argued that while ensuring that tripper regulation was not the primary issue.
buses remain open to the public is an The proposed amendment to the
allowed to drop-off and pickup
important objective of the tripper rule, destination sign language was intended
passengers at stops to which the general
providing for student safety is an only to give additional information
public may not have access, such as
equally important objective. about language that is inappropriate on
secured work sites, private business
Consequently, they argued, amending a tripper service bus by specifically
parks, and college campuses. Two prohibiting use of the word ‘‘student’’
only one element of the rule at the
commenters opposed the requirement and adding the language ‘‘or any other
expense of the other is ‘‘inappropriate.’’
that buses providing tripper service may marking indicating that they are
NASDPTS suggested that FTA ‘‘with the
only stop at clearly marked stops carrying school children.’’ FTA
assistance of the school transportation
because they thought it would impose a proposed this added language because it
community and the public transit
higher standard than that generally believed that grantees were interpreting
community, develop a list of acceptable
required of fixed route transit services. the term ‘‘such as’’ in the existing
safety practices to accommodate the
Six commenters asserted that the needs of school students.’’ Six other regulation as an exclusive listing of
proposed changes would require cities commenters concurred in NASDPTS’s prohibited signs, rather than a
to purchase new signs to mark each suggestion. representative listing of prohibited signs
stop, which would be a significant cost. One commenter, a private citizen that could also include other signs.
The American Public Transportation from Altoona, Pennsylvania, noticed However, based on the comments
Association (APTA) commented that the that tripper buses lack many of the received, it appears that there is no
marked bus stop requirement would safety features found in traditional general misunderstanding of the
impose an undue financial burden on school buses, such as forward facing existing regulation. Indeed, commenters
numerous transit authorities. seats and additional emergency exits. objected to the underlying prohibition
Signage and Markings on Buses This difference in the level of passenger on signs or markings that indicate the
safety prompted the National presence of school children on board,
The proposal to clarify that tripper Association for Pupil Transportation arguing that such a prohibition is
buses may not carry any signs or (NAPT) to suggest temporarily unsafe. However, under the current
markings indicating the presence of suspending tripper service altogether. regulation, tripper service cannot be
school children onboard raised NAPT suggested that tripper service be operated in a way that would call into
objections from eleven commenters, all disallowed until ‘‘it is clear that question its availability to the public.
of whom cited safety as their primary children who ride a transit bus to school Moreover, FTA believes that allowing
concern. Two commenters noted that receive the equivalent level of transit buses to carry such signs actually
without signs and markings, drivers operational safety as children who ride poses a greater threat to safety because
would not be alerted to the presence of a school bus to school.’’ the widespread use of these signs on
school children who may be crossing transit buses could engender a false
the road. One commenter also noted Forced Elimination or Reduction of belief by parents or guardians that
that without signs and markings, there Tripper Service transit buses are the equivalent of
would be increased public ridership, Ten commenters asserted that the school buses in terms of safety. In FTA’s
which could pose additional safety risks proposed amendment would cost cities view, the comments opposing the
to children onboard. One commenter significant amounts of money, because prohibition on signage based on safety
added that there was no objective to the extent that the proposed change concerns failed to account for the fact
evidence that existing signage regarding eliminates or reduces tripper service, that tripper service is intended to make
school children caused the public to cities would be required to purchase ordinary transit bus service available to
believe that buses used for tripper and maintain a yellow bus fleet or to school children; it is not intended to
service were not open to the general contract for those services. substitute for school bus transportation.
public. Four commenters opposed the Grantees that honor flag stops in
Two commenters who did not support proposed amendments because they suburban and rural areas expressed
FTA’s proposed amendment did would either reduce or eliminate tripper concern regarding the requirement that
support the prohibition on signs and service, which would increase the time tripper buses stop only at clearly
markings on transit buses that indicate that it takes students to get to and from marked public bus stops. The proposed
the presence of school children. One of school. Without tripper service, they rulemaking was not intended to
these commenters stated that the public asserted, some students would have to eliminate the use of flag stops for tripper
becomes confused when equipment transfer buses one or more times, thus service when such stops are generally

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 18 / Friday, January 28, 2005 / Proposed Rules 4083

used for public transportation service. general public, and included in List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 605
Commenters who opposed this published bus schedules. Mass transit, Grants, School bus.
clarification generally expressed APTA also opposed the public bus
concerns about student safety if buses ■ For the reasons set forth above, FTA is
stop amendment based on the fact that
were not allowed to stop on school withdrawing its proposed amendments
FTA allows grantees to make stops on to title 49 of the Code of Federal
property. This comment seemed to private work sites, which are generally
reflect a lack of clarity or Regulations, part 605.
inaccessible to the public. However, the
misunderstanding of the proposed * * * * *
statute singles out school bus service for
amendment; consistent with the current special attention and the current Issued on: January 4, 2005.
regulation, the proposed amendment implementing regulation requires that Jennifer L. Dorn,
would not have prohibited stops on tripper buses stop only at clearly Administrator.
school property, as long as those stops marked stops that are open to the [FR Doc. 05–1644 Filed 1–27–05; 8:45 am]
were clearly marked, accessible to the public. BILLING CODE 4910–57–U

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