Members of the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) took to Capitol Hill recently to speak to their Congressional elected officials to discuss key MAP-21 issues affecting the Motorcoach industry
at UMA’s annual event, Capitol Hill Days.
In total, UMA operator members held 284 individual appointments at Congressional offices, having increased from 210 appointments at last year’s event.
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In their meetings, UMA members shared information about their own businesses and presented key message points vital to motorcoach operators. Message points included federal minimum financial responsibility limits; preservation of charter bus protections; return to zero federal fuel tax for over-the-road buses; increased opportunities for contracting with local transit agencies; and a host of regulatory reforms that include due process for Imminent Hazard and Out-of-Service orders, and prohibition on third-party inspection requirements, local entity requirements for registrations of charter bus operators and en route inspections.
Meetings were professionally arranged specifically for the individual UMA members by Prime Policy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global public policy and government affairs firm.
“Wow, to say our day was a success is an understatement,” said Victor Parra, UMA president/CEO. “The feedback we’ve heard from our members on their meetings tell us they had a great experience and that this is exactly what we needed to make an impression on our regulators. This day may not provide the instant gratification we have all become accustomed to in this day and age, but I can promise you, the messages our members shared all over the Hill today will have a positive impact as we move closer to the reauthorization of the highway safety bill.”
The day of meetings concluded with a reception for UMA members and Congressional Members and staff. Representative John Mica (FL-R) attended and was awarded with the inaugural “Motorcoach Champion Award” for his unfailing support for the private bus and motorcoach industry.
“Our members were incredible today,” said Ken Presley, UMA’s vice president of industry relations and COO. “It can be daunting to walk into a Representative or Senator’s office and ask for their support on our issues, but they rose up to the challenge and made a difference.”