Two years after the events of Sept. 11, the motorcoach industry continues to rebound from the devastating effects and works to implement enhanced security measures in the industry, the American Bus Association (ABA) reported Thursday.
Like other industries, the motorcoach industry was significantly affected by the events and the resulting decline in travel and tourism.
Peter J. Pantuso, ABA president and CEO, explained that rebounding from the attacks has been difficult at times for the industry.
People stopped traveling after Sept. 11, which caused some businesses to lay off employees, some to cancel services and some to close their doors completely.
Increased security alerts, for example, further hampered recovery by causing travelers to cancel trips.
According to surveys conducted by ABA, motorcoach operators, so many of which are small businesses, reported losses of $500 to more than $650,000 due to heightened security warnings.
Travel destinations reported losses as well. During the heightened security warnings, ABA travel members reported losses from $5,000 to more than $2.5 million.
Since then, the ABA has been working to help its members weather the challenging time by distributing security materials and helping to secure security grant funding for operators.
More than 60 ABA private bus operator members who applied for bus security grants earlier in the year will receive nearly $19 million in federal assistance to help them make security improvements to their operations.
Before leaving for August recess, the Senate unanimously approved S. 929, the Over-the-Road Bus Security and Safety Act of 2003, and earlier this year, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved similar legislation.
"Our industry is nothing if not resilient, and we will continue to find ways to help our members regain footing and presence in the industry," Pantuso said.