The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) continues its pursuit to secure relief for the student transportation industry by joining the American Bus Association, the United Motorcoach Association, the Passenger Vessel Association, and the Amalgamated Transit Union, in support of the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act of 2020, introduced today by Senators Susan Collins and Jack Reed.
Private school bus transportation companies account for 38% of school bus services for districts around the country, employing over 250,000 individuals. Industry-wide, almost 26 million students are transported to-and-from school on a daily basis, utilizing nearly 500,000 school buses. The iconic yellow bus is acknowledged as the safest form of transportation for students to get to school, as well as extra-curricular activities.
“We thank Senator Collins and Senator Reed for introducing this important bill that will help keep the private school bus transportation industry intact during the COVID-19 health crisis. The CERTS Act would assist private school bus companies that are experiencing reduced or lapsed payments for services from school districts by providing access to vitally needed grants and loans. We must take steps now to ensure the industry can support a successful return to classroom learning this fall,” NSTA Executive Director Curt Macysyn said in a statement.
As with many sectors of the economy, the crisis surrounding COVID-19 has had devastating effects on school bus transportation. Through the assistance of the CERTS Act, contractors can look forward to specific relief for their businesses. In addition, the CERTS Act would help contractors meet rigorous cleaning, sanitizing and new operational standards required in the current pandemic environment that will be an overwhelming and unplanned financial burden.
“NSTA urges Congress to pass this bill, so that parents and students alike can continue to rely on the yellow bus as the safest method of getting to school,” Macysyn concluded.