Motorcoach Companies Caravaning Across American To Save Industry And Jobs
The buses are expecting to make it to D.C. by Wednesday
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — The wheels of business may be halted for thousands of motorcoach companies around the country as the vehicles are parked.
But a band of owners are shifting into gear to get funding in D.C.
Minnesota Charter Bus Association working with companies in all 50 states is coming together for “Rolling For Awareness.”
“If we don’t get any support or help on this whole thing and the bank start to get all these things back man that is going to be a lot of buses sitting around doing nothing,” Owner Of Triangle Coach Service In East Grand Forks Dale Helms said.
The call to action is from motorcoach owners saying they felt overlooked as the industry did not get major relief funding from the federal government as COVID-19 has shut down business for months.
“I’m the only busing company probably in a hundred mile radius so it’s a big deal when you gotta get a bus to come 3 hundred miles to haul somebody somewhere,” Helms said.
All the buses will group up in Minneapolis on Monday and then make their way to Chicago to join up with more buses before making the long haul to D.C.
There are over 800 buses that are making the trip with signage posted over them in solidarity of the industry.
Owners say they hope to get both immediate funding and loans to help cover the costs of lost business.
They say when the motor coach industry is down it hurts everyone.
“When there is a disaster like a hurricane or a flood the government doesn’t call AMTrack or the airlines to help them out they call us,” Helms said.
The bus line is expected to be more than 8 miles long in length and owners say they hope this level of unity sends a message to leaders in D.C..
“The show of this support in a move just to show “Hey were in this together.” I think that’s the true American spirit right there,” Owner Of Olander Coach In Detroit Lakes Nathan Olander said.