Collins, Reed Call for Critical Support for Bus and Motorcoach Industry Amid COVID-19

This $15 billion industry provides 600 million passenger trips annually through intercity scheduled service, charters, and tours.

Washington, D.C. – The motorcoach industry has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and is currently at a virtual standstill.  To assist this critical transportation sector, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, urging the department to provide specific technical assistance and guidance to the motorcoach industry to help companies through this unanticipated downturn.

 

“The period of March through June is when many motorcoach companies typically earn at least 50 percent of their annual revenue. Schools, colleges, summer camps, and tourists are among the previously reliable customer groups that have completely disappeared since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Senators wrote.  “We must ensure that the motorcoach industry is still there for our communities when this pandemic has passed. This important industry faces a long road to recovery and requires immediate assistance that is flexible and meets both its short- and long-term needs.”

 

The CARES Act provided critical funding for the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve to implement loan programs that provide financial support to help industries bridge the coronavirus crisis.  Title IV of the CARES Act appropriated $454 billion to support lending programs.  The rules for these programs, however, do not fully recognize some of the unique challenges motorcoach companies face, particularly the high level of capital investment needed to maintain vehicle fleets.

 

The $15 billion motorcoach industry provides 600 million passenger trips annually through intercity scheduled service, charters, and tours.  There are approximately 3,000 bus motorcoach operators in the United States with a fleet of 36,000 vehicles that are largely sitting unused during this trying time. 

 

Click HERE to read the full letter.