In a statement regarding the House’s HEROES Act 2.0 version released last night, Peter Pantuso, president and CEO of the American Bus Association said:
“It is absolutely stunning that the motorcoach industry was again ignored by leaving this industry out of the second Heroes Act attempt when more than 200 representatives have co-sponsored the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act. Yet, the draft bill includes even more billions of dollars to airlines, transits, and Amtrak, and now entertainment venues and restaurants, too.
“The motorcoach industry provides safe, reliable, accessible and affordable transportation to hundreds of millions of Americans all over the country whether they are in rural areas, big cities or suburbs. We play a critical role in evacuating citizens when there are hurricanes and wildfires. We move our troops and their equipment from base-to base or when leaving or returning home from missions. We relieve congested roadways in urban areas by providing commuter service and shuttle service. We take kids to school and on school trips and sporting events through charter service and provide vital transportation connections for rural communities with scheduled service. We are there whenever Americans need to travel. If Congress chooses to ignore the plight of 100,000 workers and 3,000 small businesses, half of our industry will be gone when America needs us.”
The CERTS Act was led by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) and Don Young (R-Alaska) to help the decimated motorcoach industry survive the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than 200 other Representatives in the House have joined them, as they appreciate how important the U.S. motorcoach industry is to their constituents and the economy. This bipartisan legislation would provide $10 billion in emergency economic relief funding, in the form of grants and other economic assistance, through the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to motorcoach operators, school bus companies, and U.S. based passenger vessel operators.