Bus companies stage 'rolling rally' to call for bailout

Bus companies stage 'rolling rally' to call for bailout
© Getty Images

Hundreds of bus drivers descended on Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to call on lawmakers to approve a bailout for their industry as it grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The demonstration, which was organized by the American Bus Association (ABA) and the United Motorcoach Association, featured a “Rolling Rally” with buses representing every state.

The organizations are seeking $15 billion in grants and loans and modifications to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection programs to help save the busing industry, which has already laid off or furloughed more than 90 percent of its workforce nationally, according to the ABA

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“This is a positive event showcasing how big buses and small businesses move America. Buses will be decorated with informative signs about the motor coach industry including: the groups they serve, the economic impact they make and the people they employ,” the ABA said in a statement last week. 

The motor coach industry is comprised of mostly small businesses that, when combined, make up a substantial portion of domestic travel. Almost  600 million motor coach trips occur in the U.S. each year, approximately 100 million shy of the number of trips by the domestic airline industry.

Like other industries, motor coach firms reportedly struggled to snag small business loans under the $2.2 trillion federal relief package signed into law in March as the funds for the lending program were quickly depleted.