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Devastated by pandemic, motorcoach companies rally for billions in federal aid

(WBAY)
Published: May. 13, 2020 at 2:13 PM CDT
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More than 1,000 buses, representing motorcoach companies from around the country, held a rolling rally around the U.S. Capitol today.

The industry is asking for federal support in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

It's a rally Ashwaubenon-based Lamers Bus Lines felt compelled to be a part of today in our nation's capitol.

"We're bringing a coach from Green Bay and one from our Florida office and we're hoping that by doing this, along with all the other companies throughout the U-S, we can shed some light on our industry," says Sherry Eisch, Lamers Bus Lines Controller.

The industry says it's already lost $6 billion due to COVID-19, and is seeking $15 billion in federal grants and loans.

Eisch says whether it's charters, tours, scheduled services or shuttles, the motor coach industry is vital to the country's transportation system.

"Our military, we feed out people to the airports, to the Amtrak stations, to the cruise ships, so we are very diverse, we travel all over the U-S, we have as an industry-wide, we have over 36,000 motor coaches, we have over 3,000 motor coach companies in the U-S and we transport over 600-million people," says Eisch.

Another concern is that when other businesses and industries begin to open, demand for these buses will lag behind.

"Definitely because a lot of our tours have older people on them and I know they're more concerned about their health than maybe some of the younger people, social distancing we have to worry about, and we're trying to figure out how to do that in a motor coach, in a school bus and also be able to transport these people where they need to go," says Eisch.

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