One of the industries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic are thousands of small “family” businesses that carry out intercity passenger transportation.
About 5 million intercity buses have been idle for several months, but requests for help from federal authorities have so far remained unanswered. Unlike the passenger airlines and passenger railroad company Amtrak, the intercity bus industry was not included in the list of federal-aid companies in the CARES Act, which Congress approved this spring.
According to the American Bus Association (ABA), intercity buses make about 600 million trips every year. However, due to a sharp decline in passenger numbers, 80,000 workers (out of a total of 100,000 employed in private bus businesses) have temporarily lost their jobs this year. Typically, the intercity bus industry has a revenue of $ 15 billion a year, but this year it has dropped to $ 4 billion. Therefore, the ABA leadership, along with the school bus and water taxi companies also affected by the pandemic, are asking Congress for $ 10 billion in loans and grants.
But due to disagreements between the Democratic-led House of Representatives and the White House over the amount of the new federal aid bill, the problem of the companies’ survival remains unresolved.
Stopping for a long time