(a) When a bus company proposes to discontinue service over any intrastate route or proposes to reduce its level of service to any points on a route to a level which is less than one trip per day (excluding Saturdays and Sundays), it shall petition the Commission for permission to do so. Within 10 days after the filing of a petition, the Commission shall require notice to be given.
(b) Any person or the Public Staff may object, to the Commission, to the granting of permission to any bus company to discontinue or reduce transportation under this section. If neither objects to the granting of permission to discontinue or reduce service under this section, within 30 days after the notice as required by subsection (a) of this section, the Commission may grant the permission based on the record and without hearing.
(c) If, within 30 days after the notice as required by subsection (a) of this section, any person or the Public Staff objects in writing to the Commission to granting of such permission, the Commission shall grant such permission unless the Commission finds as a fact, that the discontinuance or reduction in service is not consistent with the public interest or that continuing the transportation, without the proposed discontinuance or reduction, will not constitute an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce. In making a finding under this subsection, the Commission shall accord great weight to the extent to which the interstate and intrastate revenues from the transportation proposed to be reduced or discontinued are less than the variable costs of providing the transportation, including depreciation for revenue equipment. The Commission may also consider, to the extent applicable, all other factors which are to be considered by the Interstate Commerce Commission in a proceeding commenced under 49 U.S.C. § 10935. For the purposes of this section, the bus company filing a petition for permission to discontinue or reduce service shall have the burden of proving (i) the amount of its interstate and intrastate revenues received for transportation to, from or between, but not through, points on the involved intrastate route; and (ii) the system variable costs of providing the transportation.
(d) The Commission may make its determination with or without a public hearing. The Commission shall take final action upon the petition not later than 120 days after any written objections to the petition are filed.
(e) The provisions of G.S. 62-262(k) shall not be applicable to bus companies. (1985, c. 676, s. 21; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 15.)