The American Bus Association (ABA) and the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) will ask their members whether the groups should be unified.
The boards of directors of the organizations voted earlier this week to accept a framework for creation of a new association that would replace the ABA and UMA.
By March 31, 2005, members of both associations will be asked to vote on a unification plan. Before the vote can take place, however, a more in-depth transition plan needs to be developed.
The proposal was developed by a joint unification task force that was composed of five members of each organization.
Leaders of both groups praised the unification plan.
"Our industry has seen a lot of changes in the past few years," said ABA Chair Charles Zelle, "and I think the board members recognize that in order to lead the industry, service our members appropriately and adapt to changing trends in the marketplace, unifying our organizations makes a great deal of sense."
Added UMA Chair David Brown: "Once we can speak with a single voice that truly represents the interests of all North American motorcoach operators, I believe we will enjoy unprecedented success on the pressing legislative and regulatory issues that have been causing us so much concern."
If approved by two-thirds of UMA members and a majority of ABA members, the plan to join the associations will move forward.