Bus Industry Coalition Calls for $40 Billion in Relief Funding
Demand for bus travel has decreased more than 80% during the pandemic, according to National Public Radio (NPR). The decline has led to job losses in the industry with the American Bus Association (ABA) estimating that 85% of the 100,000 people who work in the bus industry have been laid off or furloughed. The drop is also raising concerns about the potential long-term damage to an essential transport method for millions of lower-income consumers. Some analysts have argued that many people will have gotten out of the habit of using bus services as a result of the pandemic and may need to be coaxed back.
Many consumers have similar concerns about bus travel as they do air travel. As a result, some charter bus services are promoting safety features including high backed seats which may limit transmission risk as well as detailing their cleaning procedures to give customers confidence. A coalition of four US bus industry associations has called on Congress to fund $40 billion in relief programs saying that its members cannot afford to wait for funding allocated through the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act. The coalition estimates total losses for 2020 and 2021 to be just below $40 billion.
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