Will Congress Rescue Motorcoach Industry?
December 21, 2020
As Congress prepares to vote Tuesday on its first major stimulus package since April, a question increasingly heard is whether there will be enough money in the final bill to rescue an important-but-oft ignored means of transportation: America’s motorcoaches.
Little known and separate from major bus lines, the motorcoach industry has been a longtime blessing to lower-income Americans who cannot afford to fly and to rural Americans as their main connection to airports.
“Where the airline industry and Amtrak are being kept alive with $86 billion [in government appropriations], we’re barely being noticed,” Peter Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association(ABA), told Newsmax last week.
Pantuso’s organization represents 800 companies that move an estimated 600 million passengers nationwide. COVID-19 has done nothing short of devastate ABA’s member-companies — nearly 99% of which are small, family-owned motorcoach companies. Some of them have been around for a century or more.
Specifically, Pantuso explained, the storied Greyhound buses “are now operating at 20% capacity and commuter buses are now at 10% capacity.”