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Transport Services Road Transport Passenger Transport: Interurban Regular Transport *



a) Passenger transport: Interurban regular transport (CPC 7121+7122)

Click here for the complete 2005 U.S. Revised Services Offer for this sector

Completely committed.

Notes on Commitment Status:


Mode 4

Market access - Unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section.

UN Definition of Sector (CPC provisional code):

7121- Other scheduled passenger transportation

71211- Urban and suburban regular transportation: Urban and suburban regularly scheduled multi-stop passenger transportation via highways and other modes of land transport. Services classified here are motor-bus, tramway, trolley bus and similar services generally rendered on a franchise basis within the confines of a single city or group of contiguous cities.

71212- Urban and suburban special transportation: Scheduled transportation by school buses to carry pupils between their homes and school, between schools etc., within the borders of a single city or group of contiguous cities. Included is scheduled transportation between an urban centre and airports or stations in this urban centre or in suburban locations by motor-bus and multi-passenger airport limousine, with driver. These services are provided over predetermined routes on a predetermined time schedule.

71213- Interurban regular transportation: Interurban regularly scheduled highway passenger transportation by motor-bus, including passenger accompanying baggage transportation.

71214- Interurban special transportation: Scheduled transportation by school buses to carry pupils between their homes and school, between schools etc., from one to another urban centre. Also included is scheduled transportation between an urban centre and airports or stations in another urban centre by motor-bus and multi-passenger airport limousine, with driver.

71219- Other scheduled passenger transportation not elsewhere classified: Other passenger land transportation by mechanized land vehicle, not elsewhere classified.

7122- Other non-scheduled passenger transportation

71221- Taxi services

71222- Rental services of passenger cars with operator

71223- Rental services of buses and coaches with operator

71224- Passenger transportation by man- or animal-drawn vehicles

71229- Other non-scheduled passenger transportation not elsewhere classified.

Discussion and Concerns:

STATES/PUBLIC SERVICES: GATS Article I exception for services supplied in the "exercise of governmental authority" may not apply if fees are charged or if the service competes with other private service suppliers in the market. Thus, municipally owned public transit systems may have to be opened up to competition from private foreign service providers to meet market access obligations. No limitation has been placed on national treatment for state subsidies or grants, and these funds may have to be shared on a national treatment basis.

STATES/PROCUREMENT: Because of the ambiguity in the GATS procurement exemption, public-private partnerships and the contracting out of transit services may have to conform to national treatment requirements to treat foreign transit suppliers the same as U.S. companies.

DOMESTIC REGULATION: New domestic regulation disciplines for licensing and qualification requirements, as well as technical standards, are being negotiated at the WTO. The disciplines raise concerns about maintaining high licensing requirements for drivers and standards for buses and taxis. The disciplines may also threaten the ability of local governments to regulate taxi fares, as "fee setting" has been identified in these GATS negotiations as an example of regulation that should be disciplined.

SCHOOL BUSES: In the United States, school bus transportation services (CPC 71212) are provided by local governments in many communities, while others have privatized these services and supply them on a contract basis. This means public school bus services could be seen as being in competition with private providers on a regional basis, and therefore may not be exempted by the governmental authority exception in GATS' Article I. By committing school bus transportation, the United States may be undermining the ability of local governments to supply this service rather than contracting it out to private, potentially foreign operators. Foreign service-providers are already in the market. Jurisdictions that suffer failed privatization and attempt to “take back” the service and make it public again may trigger the trade compensation requirements of GATS Article XXI. School bus safety is an issue regulated by federal and state governments as well as local school boards. Domestic regulation disciplines could restrict the diversity of safety standards as well as restrict school bus driver licensure requirements to those that are no more trade-restrictive than necessary.

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