The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), along with its industry partners the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), announced it has sent a letter to Secretary Pete Buttigieg on the small bus crisis, according to the CTAA's news release.
The organizations said they wrote to bring awareness to a burgeoning crisis in the small bus industry that threatens the ongoing operations of rural, small-city, paratransit, and nonemergency medical transportation providers. The demand for small buses, particularly body-on-chassis vehicles, far outstrips supply with estimates of 20,000 small bus purchases currently backlogged, according to the news release.
The organizations requested the DOT’s assistance in securing more chassis for the small bus marketplace so the trips to health care appointments (like dialysis); to congregate meal sites and grocery stores; to work and education; and to other social services that these types of buses typically serve can safely continue. In addition, the current environment creates an opportunity to promote flexibility, competition, and innovation by streamlining the procurement regulations for small buses, according to CTAA.