The American Bus Association offers its congratulations to the 37 recipients of the fiscal year 2020 Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP) funds to implement strategies, exercises, training and technologies designed to mitigate threats to passengers and facilities of motorcoach operators.
ABA members have used the federal dollars to bolster motorcoach safety and security in a variety of ways, including building fencing perimeters, adding security cameras, buying metal detection screening equipment, installing driver shields, enabling global positioning satellite tracking (GPS), developing security plans, conducting vulnerability assessments and taking advantage of training exercises to coordinate response efforts with law enforcement and other first responders.
It is no surprise that security is an issue of primary concern. Since September 11, 2001 ABA members have taken steps to continue to demonstrate that the motorcoach industry is best prepared for the next security incident, working diligently to minimize threats to their passengers and operations often without the benefit of federal funding. The FY 2020 grants were unique in that they required a 50 percent private cost match or in-kind contribution to secure funding. Given the current landscape in this new COVID-19 world, we hope that this match requirement will be removed or decreased in future iterations of this grant program.
Since 2003, ABA members have received nearly 95 percent of the $116 million in security grant funding awarded to the motorcoach industry by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ABA members have further demonstrated their commitment to security by expending tens of millions of dollars of their own money as in-kind contributions or matching funds to help secure the nation’s private motorcoach industry and help protect this valuable portion of America’s transportation industry.
These grant funds are something that through ABA’s lobbying efforts, we were able to secure for you.
“ABA advocates for security grant funding each year, because ensuring our 600 million passengers are safe and secure is our number one priority,” said Peter Pantuso, president & CEO of ABA. “This year and for the next few years it is imperative that our industry receives help from the federal government for security needs as our companies have been decimated by COVID-19’s effect on the industry. We do hope that in the future, the requirement for companies to put up a 50 percent cost match to be eligible for the grants will be waived to ensure we can continue adding safety measures to our motorcoaches and properties.”
ABA will also be partnering with FEMA to offer a grant management technical assistance workshop for the second time. The workshop will take place via webinar on Thursday, August 20 from 1-4 pm ET. To RSVP for the session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also RSVP by clicking here.
Everyone interested in grants and security grant recipients from the past three years are encouraged to participate!
ABA will be following up with all FY 2020 grantees to garner additional information about their security grant projects to provide briefings to important members of Congress to help continue this essential grant program. “ABA will continue educating Congressional leaders on the importance of providing the industry security grants,” Pantuso said. “The world is changing and we must remain nimble to change with it while protecting our precious cargo – our employees and passengers.”
Did you apply for a security grant and NOT receive funding? Tell us about it! Let ABA connect you with your member of Congress to tell them how important this program is and what an impact it will have on your operations. Please contact us by emailing email@example.com with your security grant project idea and how much you applied for.
Click here to view the full FY 2020 security grant recipients.