SPECIAL REPORT: Cross-border program delayed at least 30 days

| 5/1/2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 – Hot on the heels of a pair of announcements out of the Department of Transportation, it’s finally confirmed that the cross-border trucking program with Mexico won’t be starting for at least 30 days.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a notice and request for comments that was published in the Federal Register Tuesday, May 1. The notice gives a description of the cross-border program and gives the public until May 31 to comment.

Noticeably absent in the notice was a launch date for the cross-border program.

On Monday, April 30, the Department of Transportation issued a press release announcing that U.S. motor carriers would have access to Mexico from the onset of the program – not six or so months after Mexican motor carriers were allowed into the U.S. as originally planned.

Again, missing from the press release was the start date for the cross-border program.

John Hill, FMCSA administrator, confirmed in an interview late Tuesday afternoon with Land Line and “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that the cross-border program would not commence before the end of the 30-day comment period.

The launch of the program now hinges on the Mexican government’s readiness to open the border to U.S. motor carriers to haul freight into Mexico. When the Mexican government will be ready is not known.

Hill said he has not had direct conversations with the Mexican government, but said that the U.S. is assisting the Mexican government to speed up the opening of the border – now both to Mexican and U.S. motor carriers.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor

Staff Writer Reed Black contributed to this report.