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General Laws

Section 4. The executive office, through the secretary, shall, in addition to any other powers and duties conferred or imposed upon him by this chapter or any other general or special law, promulgate rules and regulations deemed necessary to administer a Massachusetts intercity bus capital assistance program; provided, however, that said rules and regulations be subject to the following limitations:

(1) Any one eligible carrier may not receive more than twenty-five per cent of the total vehicles available in any one year;

(2) Only carriers with their central facilities and office headquarters located in Massachusetts are eligible for the program;

(3) Carriers must complete applications, the form of which shall be determined by the secretary. Failure to provide all requested information shall disqualify a carrier from eligibility. Said application must contain the following information, in addition to any other information deemed necessary or desirable by the secretary:

(a) The carrier must declare the service for which the vehicle is primarily being leased to operate. The principal purpose for obtaining the vehicle must be for regularly-scheduled intercity service with a minimum of eighty per cent of said route falling within the boundaries of the commonwealth.

(b) In the case of existing services, carriers must document that ridership demand exceeds the presently available supply of vehicles or that the average age of the carrier’s intercity fleet exceeds recommended industry standards. In the case of new services, evidence must be presented documenting the existence of sufficient demand to justify such a service. The secretary shall determine if these conditions have been documented.

(c) The carrier must present a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed route issued by the appropriate Massachusetts regulatory authority.

(4) Vehicles may be utilized secondarily for the provision of charters, tours, sightseeing, and special and contract services so long as such services do not detract from said principal service; provided, however, that not more than fifteen per cent of the total usage of said vehicle may be for such charter, tour, sightseeing, special and contract services, and not less than eighty-five per cent of said usage shall be for regular route service.

(5) The secretary shall establish such rules and procedures to ensure that the vehicle is utilized in the manner for which it is leased, and that said vehicle or vehicles be maintained in a manner consistent to industry standards. Failure by said carrier to do so shall result in the cancellation of said lease, forfeiture of all lease payments, and the reversion of the vehicle to the commonwealth;

(6) Failure to meet the prescribed payment schedule shall result in the cancellation of said lease, forfeiture of all lease payments, and the reversion of the vehicle to the commonwealth;

(7) Vehicles shall not be used for the provision of services under contract to a public transportation authority as defined by chapters one hundred and sixty-one A or one hundred and sixty-one B unless: (a) carriers disclose to such authority the vehicles and lease payment schedules obtained under this chapter and (b) such authority assigns a fair market value to the capital and operational costs of said leased vehicles in evaluating proposals from carriers for contracts or other subsidies.

(8) The purchase of vehicles financed by this program shall be exempt from all state sales and excise taxes; and

(9) The carrier shall assume all liability incurred as a result of the use of the vehicle, and shall meet all insurance requirements as required by the secretary.

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