Editor’s note: This letter to the editor was also sent as an open letter to Georgia’s Congressional delegation.
We are Georgia’s motorcoach industry. We are family and independently owned businesses you represent, transporting nine million of our residents and tourists annually across the region. We are visible in every community: connecting our rural towns to urban centers; assisting military transports, bringing tourists to our attractions and evacuating citizens when natural disasters strike.
Before COVID-19, we employed 1,009 hardworking individuals across Georgia and contributed $160 million in economic revenue. Like many transportation industries, that has all changed and virtually every bus company across America has stopped operating. We support the public health restrictions put in place to help flatten the spread of COVID-19, but when people emerge from this crisis, we want our employees to have jobs and bring visitors back here. But today, our future is very uncertain.
Before Congress left Washington for a one-month hiatus, its members passed a $2 trillion aid package to help large and small business. That package included nearly $100 billion for every mode of passenger transportation (airlines, Amtrak, transit) except for private buses. Our voice in Congress was ignored, leaving our industry and our employees on the side of the road.
As the federal government focuses on recovery, we urge you to remember that we bring your constituents to work; your kids on school trips; we take your church groups on tours; and we drive tourism in our state … literally. We connect America. If we go away, those experiences go away. We need YOUR support NOW.
Walter Hubbard, Kingsmen Coach Lines LLC
Johan DeLeeuw, Cooper-Global Chauffeured Transportation
Alvin Harris, Horizon Motor Coach
Erwin Koster, GetAway Charter LLC
Larry Ferguson, Transouth Motorcoach
Phillip Houston, Heritage Enterprise
Tom Sambdman, Samson Tours Inc.
Tracy Fuller, Proview Tours LLC
Jeff Greene, Greene Worldwide Transportation
Alan Robinson, R&W Motorcoach Inc.
Karin Amatriain, Buckhead Coach
Hoss Oskouie, Atlantic Limousine & Transportation
Jim Lucas, Old Savannah Tours
Roosevelt Norman, T and D Bus Service
Clarence Cox, Georgia Coach Lines Inc.
Brenda Tidwell, Leisure Time
Norris Hawkins, Hawkins Charter Service
and the entire Georgia motorcoach industry