Congressman Tim Ryan Pushes for Relief for the Ailing Motorcoach Industry | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Pushes for Relief for the Ailing Motorcoach Industry

October 19, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today pressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to include relief for the motorcoach industry in the COVID-19 relief package currently being negotiated. The motorcoach industry has been deeply stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to the Speaker, Congressman Ryan encouraged her to include H.R. 7642 the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act in the next COVID-19 relief package that is passed by Congress. The CERTS Act would provide $10 billion in emergency relief funding, in the form of grants and other economic assistance, through the U.S. Department of Treasury to certain providers of transportation services, including the motorcoach industry.

“It is critical Congress continues to take steps to help those who were left behind in our previous relief packages and who are in urgent need of assistance in order to survive. I look forward to working closely with you in the days and weeks ahead to ensure we protect our motorcoach industry during this unprecedented crisis,” wrote Congressman Ryan in his letter to the Speaker.

“The motorcoach industry has been devastated by COVID-19 and is on the brink of disaster, with potentially half of these family-owned businesses closing by 2021.  We appreciate the leadership of Congressman Ryan for recognizing that the motorcoach industry and our workers are essential to the overall transportation system, and that we are a vital link to other modes. We are hopeful that the CERTS Act, which currently has 254 cosponsors in the House and 54 cosponsors in the Senate, will be included in the next COVID emergency bill,” said Peter Pantuso, President & CEO of the American Bus Association.

“Buses move America. The motorcoach industry is one that is too often taken for granted, and without help, the clock is ticking on how long we can keep our doors open,” said Ben Bolog, fifth generation owner of US Coach Tours in Alliance Ohio. “This relief Congressman Ryan is fighting for is critical to keeping family owned businesses, like mine, alive.”

The American Bus Association (ABA) projects that the industry could lose as much as $11-$12 billion due to COVID-19, and that 40-50% of the industry could go bankrupt, if they do not receive federal assistance. While the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided some relief to motorcoach operators, PPP has proven largely insufficient and unworkable for the motorcoach industry – just as it has been for small restaurants or live venues – due to the nature of their business. As Americans continue to restrict their travel or find other means of transportation for trips, the motorcoach industry remains unable to get back to operating at full capacity.

The CERTS Act has an overwhelming amount of bipartisan support with more than 251 cosponsors and counting in the House.

Read the full text of the letter here and below:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi                                   
Speaker of the House                                                  
United States House of Representatives                     
H-232, U.S. Capitol                                                    
Washington, D.C. 20515                                            

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

Thank you for your leadership during this time of crisis. As negotiations continue on the next coronavirus relief package, I urge you to include support for the motorcoaches, an industry that has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The motorcoach industry generates roughly $15.3 billion per year in annual revenue and employs around 98,500 workers. The American Bus Association (ABA) projects that the industry could lose as much as $11-$12 billion due to COVID-19, and that 40-50% of the industry could go bankrupt, if they do not receive federal assistance. The motorcoach industry plays a vital and diverse role across numerous industries from bringing tourists to National Parks or Washington, DC, to providing transportation for rural and underserved communities. But they also provide transportation for our military and critical emergency services to deploy first responders and evacuate citizens during wildfires, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods and other natural disasters.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided some relief to motorcoach operators at the start of the pandemic. But unfortunately, the PPP has proven largely insufficient and unworkable for the motorcoach industry, just as it has been for small restaurants or live venues, due to the nature of their business. As Americans continue to restrict their travel or find other means of transportation for trips, the motorcoach industry remains unable to get back to operating at full capacity. For those in this industry who secured PPP loans, many have been forced to once again furlough their workforce as the money has dried up and business remains low. 

For these reasons, I urge you to include H.R. 7642 the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act in the next COVID relief package. This bill would provide $10 billion in emergency relief funding, in the form of grants and other economic assistance, through the U.S. Department of Treasury to certain providers of transportation services, including the motorcoach industry, that have experienced a significant revenue loss as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19. This would give them much needed assistance to continue operating while following public health guidance and to retain employees on their payroll. The CERTS Act has an overwhelming amount of bipartisan support with 251 cosponsors and counting in the House. 

It is critical Congress continues to take steps to help those who were left behind in our previous relief packages and who are in urgent need of assistance in order to survive. I look forward to working closely with you in the days and weeks ahead to ensure we protect our motorcoach industry during this unprecedented crisis.

Sincerely,

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