The American Bus Association (ABA) – the industry leader advancing North American motorcoach travel and tourism – offers its congratulations to the 42 recipients of the fiscal year 2021 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.
“The ABA and its government affairs staff work hard each year to get Congress to appropriate these needed funds for the industry and to help keep our passengers safe. We are happy to see this year's total of winners up from last year's 37 as the grant money is desperately needed as our industry continues to struggle through the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on businesses," said Peter Pantuso, president & CEO of ABA. "Security and safety are the top priorities for the private motorcoach 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.”
The motorcoach industry continually strives to improve the safety and security of bus operations. Over the past few years, enhancing motorcoach security has been a key issue for all operators and a priority issue for the nation as motorcoaches visit nearly all of our nation's historic landmarks, pass along or through much of our critical infrastructure, and transport nearly 600 million passengers.
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.
Since 2003, ABA members have received nearly 95 percent of the more than $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.
ABA will be following up with all FY 2021 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 continues educating Congressional leaders on the importance of providing the industry security grants and asking for more than $2 million to ensure more companies get the much-needed funding to shore up their security programs,” Pantuso said.
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org with your security grant project idea and how much you applied for.
Click here to view the full FY 2021 security grant recipients.