Today, Niagara Scenic Tours will join hundreds of motorcoach companies from around the country, representing all 50 states for a rolling rally around the U.S. Capitol and National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“Like many local small businesses, our operations have been absolutely devastated by the coronavirus,” said Angela Shipman, branch manager of Bradford Travel, a division of Niagara Scenic Tours.
“Our buses sit idle while our employees remain at home. We all want to be back on the road, bringing people from point A to point B while serving our communities again,” she continued. “Without help from the federal government, we fear our buses may never return to the road and our passengers will be stranded without access to the nation’s transportation system.
“We look forward to joining hundreds of our fellow motorcoach operators in Washington to showcase the strength in numbers of our industry and the positive benefits we provide to every community in America,” Shipman said.
The “Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness” is a one-day, one-time grassroots event born from independent Motorcoach operators, industry suppliers and state associations, represented by a joint initiative between the nation’s two largest associations, American Bus Association and United Motorcoach association. This is a positive event showcasing how big buses and small businesses move America. Buses will be decorated with informative signs about the motorcoach industry including the groups they serve, the economic impact they make and the people they employ.
Motorcoach operators are seeking to remind members of Congress and the Trump Administration that the industry — which has laid off or furloughed more than 90 percent of its workforce nationally in the wake of COVID-19 — needs federal assistance. The motorcoach industry has requested $15 billion in federal grants and loan guarantees and modifications to Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program.
In the American motorcoach industry, there are nearly 3,000 companies, the majority of which are family owned small businesses. There are nearly 100,000 employees, with a workforce including owners, drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair, safety, cleaning crew, finance, administrative personnel and more.
There are nearly 36,000 buses sitting idle.