More than 180 U.S. representatives and senators have signed on as co-sponsors of the CERTS Act. State and regional motorcoach associations are playing a key role in building support for this legislation that could provide $10 billion in emergency economic relief funding for motorcoach operators and other transportation service providers.
“We are a small industry, and we have to work hard to be heard,” said Robert Brisman, of West Point Tours in Highlands Falls, New York, and incoming president of the Bus Association of New York State.
Brisman was part of a panel of association leaders who spoke about their efforts during the Sept. 10 United Motorcoach Association online Town Hall.
The Pennsylvania Bus Association is making a difference in the fight for the CERTS Act by reaching out to the media as well as potential co-sponsors, trying to build support and awareness, shared John Bailey, owner of Bailey Coach in York County, Pennslyvania, and president of the PBA.
The California Bus Association created Team CBA, headed up by Clint Gluth, of Chelax Industries. The group is leading the effort of writing and calling all House Members from California to get them on board with the CERTS Act, said CBA President Vickie Cole, of American Stage Tours.
Cherie Hime, Executive Director of the Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association, explained how hard operators in the Midwest worked to get many co-sponsors on board for CERTS.
“Our focus has really been on mobilizing our members to tell their story and to reach out to their legislators to be co-sponsors. You can see that it’s working. A lot of our members have also created videos, and they’ve been interviewed for news articles,” she said.
The Tennessee Motor Coach Association is also using video to get its story out to the state’s U.S. senators and representatives, said TNMCA President Jared Stancil, owner of Anchor Transportation in Nashville.
“What we find is, if we can just tell our story, they want to listen,” Stancil said. “Then they’ll ask questions. So often, they don’t know our story, and they don’t understand why the programs that Congress already put in place didn’t work for us.”