FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2010
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U.S. Senator Murray’s Amendment Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge in Washington, DC
UMA successful in effort to overturn charter rule exemption in King County, WA
ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 9, 2010—The United Motorcoach Association (UMA) is pleased to announce that it has won its case against the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to have the Murray Amendment ruled unconstitutional.
The amendment placed by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in last year’s Department of Transportation appropriations bill prohibits the FTA from enforcing the Charter Bus Rule against King County Metro Transit. Under the charter rule, public transit agencies are not allowed to use federally funded buses to operate charters if a private carrier is available and capable of performing the work.
UMA strongly believed the senator’s amendment to be harmful public policy and joined forces with the American Bus Association (ABA) to have the amendment overturned. UMA notes that prior to filing the lawsuit, it first took a number of steps to dissuade the Senator from continuing her course of action.
“This is truly exciting news,” states Victor Parra, UMA President & CEO. “While we only turn to a lawsuit as a last recourse, in this case, we felt compelled to pull out all stops to protect the interests of our members. This is a huge victory for the industry.”
In the ruling, the judge upheld UMA’s contentions that the senator’s amendment violated their member, Starline Luxury Coaches’, First and Fifth Amendment rights and specifically noted UMA’s recent request for a cease-and-desist order against King County Metro Transit.
““Having the judge uniquely cite that UMA has spent the past several years participating firsthand in the Charter Rule enforcement process on behalf of Starline is very satisfying,” added Ken Presley, UMA Vice President of Industry Relations. “In particular, we are pleased that the judge ordered the FTA to enforce the Charter Bus Rule.”
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 1,200 members located all across North America, with more than 925 charter and tour bus operator members who provide transportation services in all fifty states, Canada and Mexico. 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.
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