Cape Destinations of Harwich will join hundreds of motorcoach companies from around the country for a rolling rally around the U.S. Capitol and National Mall in Washington, D.C. on May 13.
“Like many local small businesses, my operations have been absolutely devastated by the coronavirus. My buses sit idle while my employees remain at home. We all want to be back on the road,” said Peggy Garrahan, cofounder of Cape Destinations. “The loan programs that have been offered through PPP and EIDL are appreciated, but they don’t offer much relief to an industry which will be one of the slowest to recover. We rely on groups gathering for weddings, sporting events, cultural activities, community events, airport and business transportation, school groups and civic events. The motorcoach industry has been forgotten in recent federal stimulus budgets. Without help from the federal government, I fear our buses may never return to the road and our passengers will be stranded without access to the nation’s transportation system.”
The “Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness” is a one-day, one-time grassroots event born from independent motorcoach operators, industry suppliers and state associations, represented by a joint initiative between the nation’s two largest associations, American Bus Association and United Motorcoach Association.
Motorcoach operators are seeking to remind members of Congress and the Trump Administration that the industry – which has laid off or furloughed more than 90 percent of its workforce nationally in the wake of COVID-19 – needs federal assistance. The motorcoach industry has requested $15 billion in federal grants and loan guarantees and modifications to Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program.
According to industry statistics: the U.S. motorcoach industry includes nearly 3,000 companies, most of which are family-owned, small businesses. The workforce numbers nearly 100,000 people, including owners, drivers, dispatchers, maintenance, repair, safety and cleaning crews, as well as finance and administrative personnel.
According to www.busesmoveamerica.com, some 36,000 buses have been idle sine the closure of non-essential businesses began March 13.
Other local motorcoach companies participating in the rally are A&A Metro Transportation (Bridgewater), Bloom’s Bus Lines (Taunton), Fisher Bus Inc. (Somerset), Local Motion, Inc. (Braintree) and MDT, Inc. and (New Bedford). Nearly 400 motorcoach companies are participating.
Founded in 1998 by Peggy Garrahan and Jay Kavanaugh, Cape Destinations is a transportation company with more than 100 vehicles and employs more than 75 people. Cape Destination’s fleet has been grounded since the start of the non-essential business closures on March 13.