The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted operating authority to a third Mexican carrier and has filed its final brief in ongoing litigation over its cross-border pilot program.
As of April 5, Baja Express became the third carrier to receive authority and, like the second participant to receive authority, Moises Alvarez Perez, also has one truck, one driver and has not traveled beyond the border zone.
Transportes Olympic, which has one truck and two drivers, has crossed 15 times since the program began more than five months ago.
Operating authority is pending for an additional 15 carriers, of which two have completed the Pre-Authorization Safety Audit required for participation. However, one of the two withdrew after Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association raised issues over its safety record.
OOIDA filed its final reply brief April 4 in its U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lawsuit to stop the program. The court has said a similar lawsuit filed by the Teamsters, Public Citizen and Sierra Club will be argued on the same day before the same panel, but oral arguments have not been scheduled.
OOIDA says FMCSA lacks legal authority to accept Mexican carriers because they are not compliant with federal regulations. Mexico’s CDLs, medical certificates and drug testing standards do not meet American standards and therefore are non-complaint, it said in its reply.