HISTORY & HOUSE BILL 4807

Rate Change Per Bill 4807 in Sec. 7

In 1992, Mr. Bryson acquired sole ownership of Champion Auto Ferry (CAF) operated since 1937.

Jan. 19, 1997 Citing considerable concern for the Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Association (HISCFA) as well as residents over the ferry transportation problems, Gwen Bates, President of the HISCFA, asked the Clay Township Board that Harsens Island become a Transportation Authority. ( Summary of Ferry Rate Increase Filings available)

June 2, 1997 HITA Articles of Incorporation signed by Clay Township Clerk, M. Pellerito for filing and publishing.

Oct. 1, 1997 David Bryson signs Operations Contract between Blue Water Area Transportation Commission and Champion Auto Ferry, Inc. (CAF). In this contract under “Personnel and other Assistance", Mr. Bryson shall provide the active management of the public transportation system at the contractor’s facility

Jan. 29, 1998 Champion Auto Ferry filed a request for a declaratory ruling that it is exempt from the Commission’s authority to set rates because it has entered into a contract with the Blue Water Are Transportation Authority. It says that the contract is with the municipality within which it provides service, making it exempt from regulation under MCL 460.201; MSA 22.91. The declaratory ruling was denied.

Oct. 2, 1999 Court of Appeals references an unpublished opinion in which it was indicated that “ from at least 1966 onward CAF voluntarily submitted its operations to regulation by the PSC” (Document to be available )

Feb 19, 1999 HISCFA conducted an “Opinion Survey” regarding property owners’ preference for either

  • a) Continuing he use of the existing ferry service in its present state for the foreseeable future or
    b) We would like to use the existing Ferry service until a bridge is built and placed into operation, and ask the HITA to proceed with the planning.
    56 % of the survey were returned. Purportedly, 76 % indicated a preference for “B”.


Feb. 23, 1999 Letter from John McNamee to Norman Beauchamp Re. Clay Township vs Champion Auto Ferry Inc. states regarding the above BWTA agreement: The purpose of the agreement was an attempt by Champion Auto Ferry to avoid regulation by the MPSC.
Entire letter Reference: Clay Township vs Champion Auto Ferry Inc. is available.

Oct. 14, 1999 Legal Council informed the Clay Township Supervisor that the contract between the Blue Water Area Transportation and CAF has been terminated per resolution reached by BWTC

March 12, 2001 A majority of HISCFA‘s board agrees the proposed bridge will accommodate most vessels passing under the bridge. This location causes the least amount of disruption to surrounding residents and businesses and will probably help the traffic flow along the proposed route onto the bridge.

May 10, 2006 MPSC finds that the proposed tariff be suspended to July 1, 2006 and an evidentiary hearing shall be conducted by the assigned ALJ at H. I. LIONS Hall June 8, 2006

July 27, 2012 CAF Officially informs the MPSC that CAF intends to discontinue transportation service to Harsens Island. (Document available)

Aug. 12, 2012 MPSC directs CAF Inc. to submit proposal within 120 days regarding the means of continuing to assure safe and reliable transportation service to and from Harsens Island after the retirement of David Bryson president and CEO of the company

Aug. 14, 2012 MPSC issues an Order Commencing Investigation” in light of Mr. Bryson’s stated intent to retire coupled with the commissions duty to protect the public interest. (Document available)

March 18, 2015 The Commission had received a letter from David Bryson, president and CEO of Champion's, in which he indicated that CAF intended to suspend service after Mach 5, 2016.

May 14, 2015 - The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today commenced an investigation into the notice of Champion's Auto Ferry, lnc.'s Champion's) intention to suspend, discontinue or terminate ferry transportation services between Harsens Island and Algonac for the general public sometime after March 5, 2016.

Act No. 240
Public Acts of 2017
Approved by the Governor
December 20, 2017
Filed with the Secretary of State
December 21, 2017
EFFECTIVE DATE: March 21, 2018
STATE OF MICHIGAN
99TH LEGISLATURE
REGULAR SESSION OF 2017
Introduced by Rep. Lauwers
ENROLLED HOUSE BILL No. 4807

AN ACT to amend 1921 PA 246, entitled “An act to regulate the service, rates, fares and charges of carriers by water within this state,” by amending sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (MCL 460.201, 460.202, 460.203, 460.204, 460.205, and 460.206) and by adding section 7.
The People of the State of Michigan enact:
Sec. 1. Any persons, firms, and corporations engaged in the transportation of freight, passengers, or express, by water, wholly within this state, shall, within 30 days after this act takes effect, make and file, in the form prescribed, its schedule of rates, fares, and charges for the carrying of freight, passengers, and express. The filed rates, fares, and charges continue in force until superseded by other schedules filed with the department of state police as provided in this section. The department of state police shall make a decision on all filed rates, fares, and charges within 30 days after the rates, fares, and charges are filed. The department of state police may, either upon request or upon its own motion, suspend the operation of any filed rate, fare, charge, or tariff for a period not exceeding 30 days. If a filed rate, fare, charge, or tariff is suspended by the department of state police, the department shall give the interested carrier immediate notice of the suspension and shall, within 10 days from the date of the suspension, set a hearing date not more than 20 days from the date of the suspension. The department of state police shall give notice of the hearing date to the carrier and to other interested persons. After the hearing, the department of state police shall set the rate, fare, charge, or tariff in the matter complained of, and that rate, fare, charge, or tariff continues to be the legal rate, fare, charge, or tariff in force until superseded as provided by law. Any ferry company operating within any municipality under an agreement with that municipality is not affected either as to fares or as to operation by this act.
Sec. 2. Except as otherwise provided in section 7, the department of state police may examine and audit any and all books, accounts, records, and papers of a carrier by water. A carrier by water shall furnish to the department of state police, its proper officers, and employees, any and all data in relation to its investment, income, operating expenses, and other statistical data as the department may require.
Sec. 3. The department of state police is authorized, empowered, and directed to make all necessary rules and regulations governing its investigations of the affairs of carriers by water and to prescribe the form of all reports required from those carriers.
Sec. 4. If any complaint is made to the department of state police by any person, firm, or corporation against any rate, fare, charge, or tariff of any carrier by water within this state, or against any rule or regulation of a carrier by water or against the neglect, failure, or refusal of a carrier by water to make, observe, or perform any rate, fare, charge, or tariff, or any rule or regulation, the department of state police shall investigate the matter, and the department may regulate the performance or observance of any rate, fare, charge, or tariff, and any rule or regulation, and may require the carrier to observe the rate, fare, charge, or tariff and any rule or regulation. A carrier by water is in all cases entitled to reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard on an investigation before any rate, fare, charge, or tariff, or any rule or regulation is prescribed, established, or imposed by the department of state police as provided in this section, and if any rate, fare, charge, or tariff, or any rule or regulation is prescribed, established, or imposed by the department of state police, the carrier by water shall observe and obey the same.
Sec. 5. A carrier by water may appeal any order or decision made by the department of state police prescribing or affecting any rate, fare, charge, or tariff, or any rule or regulation of any carrier by water within this state, in the same manner as is now provided by law for the appeal of orders under section 26 of 1909 PA 300, MCL 462.26.
Sec. 6. Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this act, or any order of the department of state police made pursuant to this act, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00 for each violation. Any officer or director of any corporation violating the provisions of this act, or any of the orders of the department of state police made pursuant to this act, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00 for each violation, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 3 months, or by both fine and punishment, in the discretion of the court.
Sec. 7. (1) The department of state police shall compare the proposed rate, fare, charge, or tariff of any carrier by water that primarily transports vehicles directly between 2 state highways to the rates, fares, charges, or tariffs charged by comparable carriers by water. The department of state police shall automatically approve any proposed rate, fare, charge, or tariff of any carrier by water that primarily transports vehicles directly between 2 state highways that is less than the rates, fares, charges, or tariffs charged by comparable carriers by water. The department of state police shall not audit any carrier by water whose proposed rate, fare, charge, or tariff is less than the rates, fares, charges, or tariffs charged by comparable carriers by water. The department of state police may approve a proposed rate, fare, charge, or tariff of any carrier by water that primarily transports vehicles directly between 2 state highways that is more than the rates, fares, charges, or tariffs charged by comparable carriers by water if, based on justification submitted by the carrier by water, the department of state police finds the rate, fare, charge, or tariff is reasonable. If the department of state police determines that a rate, fare, charge, or tariff is not reasonable, the department of state police shall, within 15 days after that determination, meet with the carrier by water and explain the reasons for its determination. Any carrier by water that meets the criteria of this section is deemed an instrumentality of the state.
(2) This section does not apply to a carrier by water that is operating within any municipality under an agreement with that municipality.
Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days after the date it is enacted into law.
This act is ordered to take immediate effect.
Clerk of the House of Representatives
Secretary of the Senate
Approved
Governor