NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- The motor-coach industry has come to a screeching halt due to Coronavirus. The drivers are ready to get rolling again but, the companies are facing serious funding problems.
The buses are loaded and it’s time to rally.
After months of sitting still, the wheels are turning for motor-coach drivers but, it’s not exactly what you think. Their destination is Capitol Hill for a ‘Rolling Rally.’
“We’ve got well over hundreds of thousands of employees who haven’t been able to work. So, our purpose of going is there to D.C. is to bring awareness to the government. So that we can ask them to earmark money and loan money for our industry just like that did for Airlines and Amtrak,” explained Harold Lewis Jr., owner of Lewis Coaches, Inc.
In wake of Covid-19, the motor coach industry needs federal assistance.
“Our Business is virtually null and void. We have not provided any transportation services since early March,” shared Lewis.
Charter bus seats are empty, which mean buses sit still and employees are out of work.
So, to bring awareness, this Wednesday, May 13, more than 500 drivers from all over America, including a dozen from the great New Orleans area will create 8 miles of buses encircling the White House.
“Since we are from New Orleans, I guess the best way to say it is kind of like a parade route type rally, where we are going to ride through different areas of the Capitol,” described Lewis.
Lewis’ buses say, “Government Directed Funding. $75 Billion for Airlines, Trains and Public Transportation but, $0 for Motor-Coaches.”
“America essentially doesn’t move without us, this motor coach industry,” said Lewis. “We want to bring awareness to them that our industry is hurting.”
Their hope when they make it to Capitol Hill is to secure grant funding and loans to help keep thier businesses on track.
The rally will take place Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. ET. We will have an update from the rally on WGNO.com.