Washington, DC – The American Bus Association – the industry leader advancing North American motorcoach travel and tourism – is disappointed the FY 2022 Omnibus funding package did not include additional funding needed by the motorcoach industry via the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Service Providers or CERTS program.
Additionally, the Omnibus bill failed to include an amendment to the CERTS program ensuring the grant relief provided through the program would not be taxed, like other COVID relief programs. This outcome is now putting motorcoach operators in the significantly burdensome position of having to pay back some of the very funds that were intended to provide a bridge to recovery.
“The U.S. motorcoach industry is trying to recover from more than $12 billion in 2020 losses from the pandemic and an additional $7 billion in 2021, along with facing a driver shortage and now increased fuel prices – all thwarting the recovery effort” said Peter Pantuso, ABA president & CEO. “Now, at a time when the motorcoach industry can play a huge role in supporting transportation needs in the wake of rising fuel prices, the industry is still trying to recover its footing. The additional CERTS funding would have better positioned operators at this time; nonetheless, I’m confident, based on its legacy, this industry will again find a way to stand up and meet the nation’s call at a time of a crisis. But Congressional aid certainly would have helped.”
ABA thanks Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for their efforts to include a Small Business Committee relief package in the Omnibus, including additional funding for CERTS along with the tax amendment, as well as Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), longstanding industry champions who understand the importance of the private motorcoach industry to this nation, for their role in supporting the Small Business Package.