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Public Motor Bus Services - Questions and Answers

What is a public motor bus service?

Do church groups and not-for-profit agencies require a motor carrier license if they operate a bus or van?

Does the Board regulate municipal transit services?

Are some public transit services not subject to regulation by the Board?

Are limousines regulated by the Board?

What obligations do licensed public motor bus operators have?

What types of motor carrier licenses does the Board provide?

What is the process for obtaining a licence to operate a public motor bus?

How often are motor carrier licenses renewed?

What is a public motor bus service?

A public motor bus service transports passengers, or passengers and freight, for gain. Any service that picks up and/or drops off within New Brunswick, for a fare, is a public motor bus service and requires a motor carrier licence from the Board.

Do church groups and not-for-profit agencies require a motor carrier license if they operate a bus or van?

Church groups and other not-for-profit agencies require a motor carrier licence if they collect fares for transportation services, unless those services are exempted as outlined below.

Does the Board regulate municipal transit services?

Municipal transit agencies (such as the Saint John Transit Commission) are exempt from regulation by the Board when operating within their municipal boundaries. Any transit services operating outside of the municipality (for example, providing vehicles for charter) require a motor carrier licence from the Board.

Are some public transit services not subject to regulation by the Board?

Operations that are not subject to regulation by the Board include:

  • A "taxicab" with seating capacity of six persons or less, not including the driver;
  • Certain short-run shuttles to and from trains, ships, boats or airplanes;
  • Transportation of school children paid for by the province;
  • Certain charter or corridor operations where passengers are picked up and dropped off in other jurisdictions;
  • A motor vehicle used for van pool services (as described in the Act), subject to certain insurance certification requirements; and
  • Operations specifically exempted from regulation by an order of the Board.

Are limousines regulated by the Board?

All vehicles that transport passengers, or passenger and freight, for gain that are not taxicabs (vehicles with seating capacity of six persons or less, not including the driver) require a motor carrier licence and motor carrier plate. This includes limousines designed to carry more than six passengers, not including the driver.

What obligations do licensed public motor bus operators have?

Among other obligations, a licensed public motor bus operator must:

  • Have a copy of its licence in any vehicle being operated as a public motor bus;
  • Attach the plate issued by the Board to the front of the applicable motor bus and have the corresponding plate certificate in the motor bus;
  • Provide information to the Board, as required;
  • Equip every public motor bus with at least one U.L.C. rated fire extinguisher;
  • Satisfy the Board of proper insurance coverage as required by regulation;
  • Not abandon or discontinue any licensed service without an order of the Board; and
  • Not assign its licence or business to another party without Board approval.

What types of motor carrier licenses does the Board provide?

There is only one class of motor carrier license issued under the Motor Carrier Act. However, the Board may set conditions to any license as required. Generally speaking the Board grants licenses for regular service (known as scheduled, or line-run, service) and irregular service (charter service). As the conditions are different for the two types of service, motor carrier applications must clearly indicate the type of service being applied for, along with any additional information to assist the Board in considering an application.

What is the process for obtaining a licence to operate a public motor bus?

Application forms and guides are available from the Board by contacting Board staff. The Board will consider all applications and will hold a public hearing if required. The Board will grant an application if it is satisfied that:

  • Any objection to the application has been resolved; and
  • The granting of the application would not be detrimental to the interests of public transportation users, to the provincial economy or social development, or to commerce in general.

How often are motor carrier licenses renewed?

All motor carriers must register at least one vehicle (purchase a motor carrier plate) with the Board each year in order to keep their motor carrier licence active. Motor carrier plates are valid between May 16th of one year and May 15th of the following year. Motor carriers that do not register a vehicle in a given year are deemed inactive. Inactive motor carrier licences are suspended after a full year. Motor carriers wishing to renew their licence after a full year must start the application process again.