[April 17, 2020 – Washington, DC] BestBus, a subsidiary of DC Trails, recently joined a group of more than 30 transportation companies from around the country in a plea to Senator Mark Warner (D) for financial assistance to deal with the blowback from the COVID-19 pandemic
Warner heads the WH Task Force on COVID-19. Recently, the government announced a stimulus package of $2 trillion with $100 million going to U.S. transportation companies except private buses. The letter, authored by John “Jay” Sneed of Prevost Car Inc., chides Congress for their lack of response.
Also included in the plea are several links to videos from private motorcoach owners and industry officials, including BestBus owner William Torres.
“A lot of employees are suffering; the whole industry is suffering. And it breaks my heart to know that right now, there’s not much we can do for them and our government is doing nothing,” said Torres in the video.
According to the video, approximately 600 million people are moved by private motor coaches each year, more than Amtrak and nearly as many as the aviation industry, both of which received financial assistance.
“We move 600 million passengers every single year; airlines move 700 million, Amtrak moves about 30 million,” said President and CEO of the American Bus Association, Peter Pantuso. “I’m getting calls daily from businesses that are on the brink or are ready to go out of business.”
Pantuso also stated that many of the same struggling private motorcoach companies are called on each year to assist in emergency evacuations by government agencies, particularly during hurricane season.
“I’m not sure they’re going to be around when the call comes to move people out of harm’s way,” Pantuso said.
Part of the problem, Torres said, is that the private motorcoach business is owned by families that don’t have the financial resources to support the industry in an extended downturn. CEO of Transportation Management Services, Frank Sherman, agreed.
“[The private bus] industry is still relatively small, there are not a lot of extra funds for lobbyists,” Sherman said. “They’re small businesses and minority businesses and they just don’t have a loud voice.”
The letter goes on to urge Warner and Congress to outline specific funds to motorcoach agencies much in the same way the stimulus has done for the aviation agency, stating that they serve an essential purpose and help connect rural communities to urban destinations.
It also stated that it provides much-needed transportation to those struggling to continue to work and take care of their families without owning their own vehicles.
BestBus is one of the country’s leading charter bus companies, offering service to and from Washington, DC, New York, Virginia, and Delaware. To learn more about their bus schedules and service areas, and how they’re helping to keep travelers and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact them online or call 1 (888) 888-3629.