We are California’s motorcoach industry. We are family and independently owned businesses you represent, transporting 24 million residents and tourists annually across the region. From our national parks to city centers, we are visible in every community and vital to America’s transportation network.
Before COVID-19, we employed 9,367 hardworking individuals across California and contributed $1.7 billion in economic revenue. Like many transportation industries, that has all changed and virtually every bus company across America has stopped operating. We support the public health restrictions put in place to help flatten the spread of COVID-19, but when people emerge from this crisis, we want our employees to have jobs and bring visitors back here. But today, our future is very uncertain.
Before Congress left Washington, DC for a one-month hiatus they passed a $2 TRILLION aid package to help large and small business. That package included nearly $100 BILLION for every mode of passenger transportation (airlines, Amtrak, transit) except for private buses. Our voice in Congress was ignored, leaving our industry and our employees on the side of the road.
As the federal government focuses on recovery, we urge you to remember that we bring your constituents to work; your kids on school trips; evacuate your citizens during natural disasters; and we drive tourism in our state…literally. We connect America. If we go away, those experiences go away. We need your support now.
Plan for the future
As we grind through the difficult days of the pandemic, I’d like to share some hope.
My daughter, the fashion designer, is making protective masks–dyed with turmeric and beet juice, and they are lovely.
In every city around the nation, feats of valor, creativity and grace are being accomplished every day. We will win this battle. This gives me hope: the power of our teamwork and solidarity. People are doing things they’ve never done before. Resilience abounds. And these are just the qualities needed to confront and lick the next pandemic: the looming climate crisis.
At this moment, these are just the tools we need to ensure a healthy, livable and prosperous future. From cleaner air in our cities to reduced water pollution in lakes and oceans to quality clean energy jobs–sourced from limitless supplies of sun and wind. So as we work through the current challenges, let’s take stock of our boundless ingenuity and keep in our sights a future worth fighting for.