[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 195 (Friday, October 8, 1999)]
[Pages 54955-54956]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-26204]



Surface Transportation Board
[STB Docket No. MC-F-20953]

Gonzalez, Inc., d/b/a Golden State Transportation Company--
Merger--Los Rapidos, Inc., d/b/a Crucero

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Notice tentatively approving finance transaction.


SUMMARY: Gonzalez, Inc., d/b/a Golden State Transportation Company 
(Golden State or applicant), a motor carrier of passengers, has filed 
an application under 49 U.S.C. 14303 for the acquisition by merger of 
its affiliate, Los Rapidos, Inc., d/b/a Crucero (Los Rapidos), also a 
motor carrier of passengers. Persons wishing to oppose the application 
must follow the rules at 49 CFR 1182.5 and 1182.8. The Board has 
tentatively approved the transaction, and, if no opposing comments are 
timely filed, this notice will be the final Board action.

DATES: Comments must be filed by November 22, 1999. Applicant may file 
a reply by December 7, 1999. If no comments are filed by November 22, 
1999, this notice is effective on that date.

ADDRESSES: Send an original and 10 copies of any comments referring to 
STB Docket No. MC-F-20953 to: Surface Transportation Board, Office of 
the Secretary, Case Control Unit, 1925 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 
20423-0001. In addition, send one copy of any comments to applicant's 
representative: Fritz R. Kahn, Suite 750 West, 1100 New York Avenue, 
NW, Washington, DC 20005-3934.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Beryl Gordon, (202) 565-1600. [TDD for 
the hearing impaired: (202) 565-1695.]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Golden State is a regular-route regional 
passenger carrier operating principally in the Southwest pursuant to 
authority granted in Docket No. MC-173837.1 Los Rapidos is a 
regular-route regional passenger carrier operating in the Southwest 
pursuant to authority granted in Docket No. MC-293638.2 
According to applicant, the operations of the two bus lines to some 
extent have duplicated but in larger measure have complemented each 
other, with Golden State's operations directed at the domestic market 
and Los Rapidos specializing in the international cross-border market 
with Mexico.

    \1\ Golden State is authorized to operate in Arizona, 
California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and 
    \2\ Los Rapidos is authorized to operate in Arizona and 

    Pursuant to a merger agreement, Los Rapidos will be merged into 
Golden State, with Golden State being the surviving corporation. Golden 
State will continue to be managed by its president, Mr. Antonio 
Gonzalez. By application thereafter to be filed with the Federal 
Highway Administration, the operating authority held by Los Rapidos is 
expected to be transferred to, and be

[[Page 54956]]

integrated into the operating authority of, Golden State.
    Golden State and Los Rapidos are controlled by Sistema 
Internacional de Transporte de Autobuses, Inc. (SITA), a noncarrier 
which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Greyhound Lines, Inc. 
(Greyhound).3 Greyhound holds nationwide, motor passenger 
carrier operating authority under Docket No. MC-1515, and controls 
eight other motor passenger carriers, one directly 4 and the 
others indirectly through its noncarrier subsidiaries.5 
Greyhound is controlled by Laidlaw Inc., of Burlington, Ontario, Canada 
(Laidlaw), a noncarrier 6 that also controls 13 other motor 
passenger carriers, whose U.S. operations are mostly limited to charter 
and special operations.7

    \3\ Greyhound's acquisition of indirect control of Golden State 
was approved by the Board in Greyhound Lines, Inc.--Control--
Gonzalez, Inc., d/b/a Golden State Transportation Company, STB 
Docket No. MC-F-20914 (STB served Dec. 19, 1997). Greyhound's 
acquisition of indirect control of Los Rapidos was approved by the 
Board in Greyhound Lines, Inc.--Acquisition of Control--Los Rapidos, 
Inc., STB Docket No. MC-F-20903 (STB served Jan. 15, 1997).
    \4\ Greyhound directly controls Continental Panhandle Lines, 
Inc. (MC-8742), which operates in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
    \5\ Greyhound indirectly controls five motor passenger carriers 
through its wholly owned noncarrier subsidiary, GLI Holding Company. 
They are: PRB Acquisition, LLC., d/b/a Peoria Rockford Bus Co. (MC-
66810), operating in Illinois; Valley Transit Company, Inc. (MC-74), 
operating in Texas; Carolina Coach Company, Inc. (MC-13300), 
operating in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North 
Carolina; Texas, New Mexico & Oklahoma Coaches, Inc. (MC-61120), 
operating in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma; and 
Vermont Transit Co., Inc. (MC-45626), operating in Maine, Vermont, 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York. The remaining two motor 
passenger carriers are indirectly controlled by Greyhound through 
SITA. They are: Americanos U.S.A., L.L.C. (MC-309813), operating 
between the Mexican border crossing points at El Paso, Laredo, and 
McAllen, TX, to the cities of Albuquerque, NM, Denver, CO, Dallas 
and Houston, TX, and Chicago, IL; and Autobus Amigos, L.L.C. (MC-
340462), operating to and from the Mexican border crossing point at 
Brownsville, TX, and Houston, TX, and points in Florida.
    \6\ See Laidlaw Inc. and Laidlaw Transit Acquisition Corp.--
Merger--Greyhound Lines, Inc., STB Docket No. MC-F-20940 (STB served 
Dec. 17, 1998).
    \7\ The carriers are: D-A-R Transit Systems, Inc., d/b/a Galaxy 
Charters (MC-311766); Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp. (MC-
304126); Laidlaw Transit, Inc. (MC-161299); Laidlaw Transit Services 
(Two), Inc. (MC-163344); Roesch Lines, Inc. (MC-119843); Safe Ride 
Services, Inc. (MC-246193); Vancom Transportation--Illinois, L.P. 
(MC-167816); Willett Motor Coach Co. (MC-16073); 1327172 Ontario 
Limited, Transferee of Gisele Rockey d/b/a Northern Escape Tours 
(MC-231298); Grey Line of Vancouver Holdings Limited (MC-357855); 
Voyageur Corp. (MC-360339); Laidlaw Transit Ltd. (MC-102189); and 
Dave Transportation Services (MC-144040).

    The merger is expected to produce significant benefits for the 
passengers of the two bus lines, which specialize in accommodating the 
needs of travelers to and from Mexico. Through integration of the 
schedules, passengers will have the choice of more frequent departures, 
at more opportune times, and with improved cross-border through or 
interline bus service. The merger will also permit the consolidation of 
terminals and, where appropriate, their enlargement, thereby making 
them more convenient and comfortable for the passengers.
    It is anticipated that the merger will result in more efficient and 
cost-effective operations. Golden State plans to consolidate the 
management of the two companies, thereby eliminating duplicative 
overhead costs and improving management oversight and control. The 
merger is also expected to allow more efficient use of the buses and 
more effective deployment of personnel.
    Applicant states that it will incur no debt in its merger of Los 
Rapidos; therefore, there will be no increase in fixed charges.
    Applicant also states that there is no need to attach conditions 
for the protection of affected employees pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 14303(b) 
because the employees of Los Rapidos who meet the Golden State 
employment criteria and needs will be offered employment. Applicant 
notes that Golden State experienced significant growth before the 
merger and, thus, will be required to increase its employee base.
    Applicant certifies that: (1) The aggregate gross operating 
revenues for Golden State, Los Rapidos, and the motor passenger 
carriers that they are affiliated with (subject carriers) exceeded $2 
million during the 12-month period ending December 31, 1998; (2) Each 
of the subject carriers holds a satisfactory safety fitness rating from 
the U.S. Department of Transportation (except for affiliates of Laidlaw 
that are not rated); (3) Each of the subject carriers has sufficient 
liability insurance; (4) None of the subject carriers is domiciled in 
Mexico nor owned or controlled by persons of that country; and (5) 
Approval of the transactions will not significantly affect either the 
quality of the human environment or the conservation of energy 
resources. Additional information may be obtained from the applicant's 
    Under 49 U.S.C. 14303(b), we must approve and authorize a 
transaction we find consistent with the public interest, taking into 
consideration at least: (1) The effect of the transaction on the 
adequacy of transportation to the public; (2) The total fixed charges 
that result; and (3) The interest of affected carrier employees.
    On the basis of the application,\8\ we find that the proposed 
merger is consistent with the public interest and should be authorized. 
If any opposing comments are timely filed, this finding will be deemed 
vacated and, unless a final decision can be made on the record as 
developed, a procedural schedule will be adopted to reconsider the 
application. If no opposing comments are filed by the expiration of the 
comment period, this decision will take effect automatically and will 
be the final Board action.

    \8\ Under 49 CFR 1182.6(c), a procedural schedule will not be 
issued if we are able to dispose of opposition to the application on 
the basis of comments and the reply.

    Board decisions and notices are available on our website at 
    This decision will not significantly affect either the quality of 
the human environment or the conservation of energy resources.
    It is ordered:
    1. The proposed merger is approved and authorized, subject to the 
filing of opposing comments.
    2. If timely opposing comments are filed, the findings made in this 
decision will be deemed as having been vacated.
    3. This decision will be effective on November 22, 1999, unless 
timely opposing comments are filed.
    4. A copy of this notice will be served on: (1) The U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Office of Motor Carriers-HIA 30, 400 Virginia 
Avenue, S.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; (2) The U.S. Department 
of Justice, Antitrust Division, 10th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 
Washington, DC 20530; and (3) The U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Office of the General Counsel, 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 

    Decided: October 1, 1999.

    By the Board, Chairman Morgan, Vice Chairman Clyburn and 
Commissioner Burkes.
Vernon A. Williams,
[FR Doc. 99-26204 Filed 10-7-99; 8:45 am]