"Very Scary" Susquehanna Trailways Struggling, Waiting to Get Back to Business
Mallorie McIlwain and Bob Rolley
August 5, 2020
In a letter to the editor on Page A4 in today’s Express, Cowley said, “The COVID-19 shutdown in Pennsylvania and around the country has had a devastating impact on travel and transportation operators. The $15 billion motorcoach industry typically provides 600 million passenger trips annually through intercity scheduled service, charters, and tours. Yet, motorcoach, tour and travel industries were not included in the previous assistance packages provided by Congress; even though, we carry almost 20 times as many passengers as Amtrak.
“The motorcoach industry is second to domestic airlines in moving people. The American Bus Association (ABA) said that in 2018, privately-owned motorcoaches transported 600 million people. The airlines flew 779 million, and Amtrak trains took 31.7 million people on its popular Northeast corridor runs and long-distance trains.
She adds, “There are approximately 3,000 bus motorcoach operators in the United States, who normally employ over 100,000 employees, with a fleet of 36,000 vehicles that are largely sitting unused during this trying time. The motorcoach, tour and travel industries are dominated by small businesses, and most often these are family-owned, multigenerational businesses. These small businesses are not capable of withstanding even a modest downturn in domestic travel and tourism, let alone the devastating situation the travel industry is currently experiencing. Small businesses form the backbone of the U.S. tour and travel industry, as well as provide vital links for rural communities, commuting employees, school children, and price-sensitive travelers.”