(Washington, NJ) - The Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association (GNJMA) today applauds the leadership and commitment of Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to secure federal assistance for America's motorcoach industry which has laid off or furloughed more than 90 percent of its workforce nationally in the wake of COVID-19.
"For nearly two months New Jersey buses have sat idling while motorcoach employees have remained at home. As America begins to reopen, our economy will need us back on the road to bring people from point A to point B and serve our communities again. Without help from the federal government, buses across New Jersey may never return to the road and our passengers will be stranded without access to the nation's transportation system," said Tim Stout, GNJMA President. "We went to Washington last week to make our case as to why the federal government needs to support the motorcoach industry. We know our message was heard and we applaud Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), Rep. Christopher H. Smith (D-NJ), Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) public commitment and promise to our operators to secure federal aid for the motorcoach industry which provides positive benefits to every community in America."
Signed into law on March 27, the $2 trillion CARES Act excluded the U.S. motorcoach industry though made $100 billion in federal grants and loans available to airlines, airports, public transit systems and Amtrak. In response, motorcoach operators and employees from around the country have contacted their lawmakers in protest. Earlier this month a bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote to Congressional leaders requesting federal funds be made available to the motorcoach industry including those already approved in the CARES Act. The motorcoach industry has requested $16 billion in federal grants and loan guarantees.
Copies of the bipartisan House letter and Senate letter to Congressional leaders signed by the lawmakers are available.
Last week, GNJMA motorcoach operators joined hundreds of their fellow motorcoach companies from around the country for a rolling rally around the U.S. Capitol and National Mall in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness for the economic devastation inflicted upon the industry by the coronavirus.
The "Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness" was a joint event between the American Bus Association and United Motorcoach Association to showcase how big buses and small businesses move America. Rolling throughout Washington, D.C. on May 13th, approximately 800 buses were decorated with informative signs about the motorcoach industry including: the groups they serve, the economic impact they make and the people they employ. Photos of New Jersey motorcoach operators participating in the rolling rally are available here. GNJMA recommends keeping the decals on buses from the rally until you start rolling again.
About the USA Motorcoach Industry:
Companies: nearly 3,000, the majority are family owned, small businesses.
Employees: nearly 100,000. Workforce includes owners, drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair, safety, cleaning crew, finance, administrative personnel, etc.
Buses Sitting Idle: nearly 36,000
Annual Passenger Trips: nearly 600 million, which is in line with domestic airlines' trips.
More information is available at www.busesmoveamerica.com.