Senators Collins, Reed Call for Quick Implementation of COVID-19 Financial Assistance for Bus & Passenger Vessel Industries

Provisions of the Senators’ CERTS Act were included in the most recent COVID-19 relief package

Washington, D.C. —U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member and the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, led a bipartisan group of 30 Senators in calling on the U.S. Department of the Treasury to quickly implement the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act to support America’s bus, motorcoach, and passenger vessel industries.  The COVID-19 relief bill that was signed into law on December 27 included $2 billion for the CERTS Act that they authored.  Senators Collins and Reed strongly advocated for the inclusion of this assistance in the COVID-19 relief package.

 

“The past year has been incredibly challenging for these vital transportation providers—and the forecast for the months ahead indicates that a return to normal operations is not coming soon.  To successfully reopen our economy, we need the bus, motorcoach, school bus, passenger vessel, and passenger ferry companies ready and available to provide transportation on which Americans rely,” the Senators wrote.  “That is why the Treasury Department must move as quickly as possible to ensure that this assistance is distributed to the companies that desperately need it to pay their employees and keep their doors open.”

 

For the more than 3,000—mostly small and family-owned—motorcoach companies across the U.S., the cancellation of school field trips, tours, and college sports seasons has already forced thousands of employees to be furloughed or laid off.  The pandemic also continues to take a toll on the U.S. flag passenger vessel industry—grounding ferries and recreational tours—leaving owners and operators without customers and revenue.  Finally, privately-owned school bus companies, which are responsible for transporting many of the more than 23 million school children who take the bus to school each day, face significant losses when states and localities move to virtual learning and curtail extracurricular and afterschool programs.

 

The letter was also signed by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Bob Casey (D-PA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Steve Daines (R-MT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Mark Warner (D-VA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

 

Click HERE to read the full letter.

 

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