HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) – Organizations gathered in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for the “Rolling Rally,” a caravan of bus drivers hoping to bring awareness to their plight during the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials say 90% of the motor coach workforce have been furloughed during the covid-19 pandemic.
In Hagerstown, Dave Baer of Baer Express Tours said his company among others were ground to a halt because of the coronavirus.
“They have no business whatsoever, everything is absolutely dead,” Baer said. “They are looking for some relief funding to get them through until things start to pick back up again.”
In the United States, there are approximately 3,000 tour bus companies with around 36,000 buses sitting idle since event locations began closing.
Dan Spedden of Visit Hagerstown said the rally is not a protest to open up businesses, but is rather a request for financial aid in the same way cruise lines and airlines have received assistance
“This rally is all about recognition of their industry and some relief in these CARES Act legislations that they’re passing,” Spedden said. “They want to be included in the relief packets so they can survive the summer and be ready to roll when it’s safe to do so.”
The motorcoach industry has requested $15 billion in federal assistance that will help keep them afloat until pandemic restrictions have lifted and they can get back to driving.