Private Bus Industry Slams Congress over Coronavirus Relief Bill
December 23, 2020
Private bus companies are not happy with the new COVID-19 relief package Congress approved late Monday, which allocates $2 billion to the motorcoach industry.
Motorcoach companies rallied in Washington in May to demand more support for the industry, but those calls were largely unheard, industry experts said.
Peter Pantuso, ABA president and CEO, said in a Monday statement that Congress needs to pass a relief bill closer to $4 trillion "to save the economy." President Trump on Tuesday threatened to block the relief bill because he wanted to send bigger stimulus checks to Americans.
"It is truly disappointing and shocking that once again Congressional leaders have failed to provide adequate funding for the motorcoach industry," Pantuso said. "The private motorcoach industry has been the only form of passenger transportation ignored by Congress over the past 10 months of the pandemic."
He added that while the industry has "strong hope" that Congress would include an appropriate amount of funding for the industry in the latest package, that funding has been "diverted to prop up highway projects suffering due to low gas tax revenue."
The ABA named six bipartisan lawmakers, who introduced legislation that would allocate $10 billion to the private bus industry over the summer, but those funds were cut to $8 billion amid negotiations two weeks ago and $2 billion in final legislation was released on Monday, according to ABA.