Coach USA says it had no role in stranding passengers headed to pro-Israel rally

UPDATE: The lawsuit against Coach USA has been dropped, according to the company. “As previously noted, misinformation was spread about the bus company involved in the incident on November 14th.  Coach USA was in no way affiliated with the company in question and the aforementioned lawsuit is now voluntarily withdrawn without prejudice,” said Colin Emberson, Vice President of Commercial for Coach USA, in a statement to Bus & Motorcoach News. 

One of the nation’s largest ground transportation companies reportedly is being sued for stranding hundreds of pro-Israeli protesters heading to a March for Israel, but Coach USA says it’s a case of misinformation.

It was another company that didn’t show up, said Colin Emberson, Vice President of Commercial for Coach USA, in a statement to Bus & Motorcoach News. 

“We have become aware of an incident that took place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, wherein charter customers from another bus company were left stranded on their way to a rally in Washington, D.C.  Coach USA was not in any way involved in this incident,” Emberson said. “In fact, Coach USA successfully carried passengers on 74 charter buses from New Jersey and Maryland to the rally on Tuesday as planned.”

Doron Orbach filed a class action lawsuit against Coach USA, alleging the bus company violated several federal anti-discrimination laws, including the Civil Rights Act, TMZ reported.

The failure of the buses to show up for the protesters has been blamed on a “malicious walk-off” by bus drivers in several news reports and social media posts, but few details have been provided.

Like Coach USA, dozens of motorcoach operators transported passengers to the March for Israel rally, as they have routinely for rallies for a range of issues. 

Last-minute help

Bailey Coach provided last-minute help to transport the stranded passengers from Dulles Private Airport to the rally in Washington. 

“We were contacted at 3 p.m. the day previous to the rally requesting last-minute emergency transport, and three of our coach buses were contracted to help shuttle people from the airport to the rally,” the Pennsylvania company and United Motorcoach Association Member wrote in a Nov. 15 Facebook post, in response to media questions about their buses being photographed at the airport.

“Because of the actions of the companies that decided not to show, our drivers worked five hours later than they were scheduled in an effort to be helpful despite the chaos. We are present in the photographs circulating because our drivers and buses did honor our contract and did show.” 

Bus & Motorcoach News will continue to follow this story.

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