The American Bus Association (ABA) welcomed the news that a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers came together to propose a $908 billion stimulus COVID-19 relief bill that includes $8 billion for the private motorcoach industry.
"We applaud those Senators and Representatives that came together to work for relief for millions of Americans and small businesses affected by COVID-19, including the private motorcoach industry," said Peter Pantuso, president/CEO of ABA. "The motorcoach industry is on the verge of collapse without a lifeline to help it through this pandemic. Without this integral sector in America's multimodal transportation system, economic recovery will be impossible in the United States as communities — large and small — across the country would lose access to economical transportation."
The private motorcoach industry moves 600 million passengers annually, providing public transportation to intercity commuters, students, travelers, military personnel and their equipment, sports teams, along with fulfilling a vital emergency response function during natural disasters, and providing transportation connections for rural communities with scheduled service.
"This industry is running out of time," said Pantuso. "According to financial institutions, between 40 to 50 percent of the industry's 3,000 small family businesses will be closed for good without help. Nearly half of the industry's buses are facing repossession as banks can no longer offer flexibility. We need Congress to act now and help save this industry from decimation."