Following a year of unprecedented losses, the private motorcoach, school bus and passenger vessel industries have called on Congress to fund $40 billion in relief programs to aid their industries, even as companies are awaiting the $2 billion allocated in the CERTS Act late last year. This coalition of industry groups say its members cannot afford to wait for the first round of funding to be distributed.
The United Motorcoach Association (UMA), the American Bus Association (ABA), the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), and the National School Transportation Association (NTSA) sent a letter to Congressional leaders late Monday, saying, “As Congress is moving quickly to provide further relief, our industries cannot wait to seek additional relief until the $2 billion is distributed. In addition, the $2 billion in CERTS funding provided is woefully inadequate to help all our essential industries return to anything close to pre-pandemic health.”
CERTS coalition projections
“All our industries provide public transportation by vehicle or vessel and all have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of the ongoing pandemic,” the letter stated. “These operations were the first to shut down and will be the last to fully recover. We deeply appreciate the $2 billion in relief provided in the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) program included in the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.”
The coalition provided Congressional leaders with reporting on revenues lost in 2020 and estimated losses for 2021. The total is just below $40 billion.
CERTS Coalition Background
The industry received $2B in funding late last year as part of an earlier aid package. President Trump signed the bill containing the CERTS Act last night bringing to rest uncertainty over a threatened veto. Thus, the CERTS Act becomes law.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 contains $900 billion in additional coronavirus relief. This includes $2 billion for the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act.