The American Bus Association (ABA), United Motorcoach Association (UMA), National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) thank the California representatives that co-signed a letter headed by Rep. Jimmy Panetta to House leadership asking for the House to provide relief to these transportation sectors.
In his letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Panetta writes:
"As negotiations continue on the next coronavirus relief package, we respectfully urge you to include H.R. 7642, the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act of 2020, in the compromise legislation. The bill would provide much needed assistance to the motorcoach, school bus, and U.S. flag passenger vessel industries who have been omitted from previous coronavirus relief bills. Collectively, these industries have furloughed or laid off an estimated 308,000 employee jobs over the last eight months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without congressional action, economists predict between 40-50 percent of businesses will close permanently by the end of the year.
"The motorcoach industry is a critical piece of our national transportation network and it is vital this industry survives the COVID-19 pandemic. In California alone, the motorcoach industry provides nearly 10,000 good paying jobs and contributes $1.6 billion to the state’s economy. In addition, many California motorcoach companies support recent wildfire response efforts, including evacuating residents and transporting first responders.
"The CERTS Act has the support of 267 members of the House of Representatives, including 180 Members of the Democratic Caucus and 37 Members of the California delegation. Moreover, the bill has 57 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, including Minority Leader Schumer and 34 other Senators from the Democratic Caucus.
"Congress must continue to provide relief to the individuals and industries most effected by COVID-19. The CERTS Act would help adversely impacted transportation providers who have yet to receive targeted relief. We thank you for your leadership in this process and look forward to continuing to address this global pandemic and resulting economic crisis."
Leading financial institutions predict that if relief does not come swiftly to these industries that were left out of previous relief packages, between 40-50 percent of these small, family-owned businesses will fail. These businesses and workers are critical to the nation’s transportation system. They serve hundreds of millions students, seniors, minorities and other travelers and commuters, as well as the military and they move people out of harm’s way during wildfires and hurricanes.
"If these industries are left to fail, the economic recovery for the United States will be stalled as millions of riders who rely on affordable transportation will not be able to get to work and move around the country as needed. These industries bring generate hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy," said coaltion members.
The coalition also thanks the co-signers to Rep. Panetta's letter which includes:
Reps. Julia Brownley, Harley Rouda, Jim Costa, Alan Lowenthal, Barbara Lee, Luis Correa, TJ Cox, Gilbert Ciseneros, Jr., Scott Peters, Zoe Lofgren, Ted Lieu, Raul Ruiz, Judy Chu, Karen Bass, Pete Aguilar, Norma Torres, Tony Cardenas, Mark Takano and Nanette Diaz Barragan.