The Motor Coach industry fighting for survival

By  | 

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - At risk is your child's school trip and the bus services between the airport and Lake Tahoe, among all other trips provided by motor coaches.

Amador Stage Lines takes a group to Las Vegas.

This is the story of Amador Stage Lines with 70 buses and locations in Reno and Sacramento.

If something doesn't eventually change, it will go out of business along with other motor coach businesses across the country.

Lisa Allen is the Operation Manager for the company.

"We went from $1 million in revenue per month to about $10,000," she said.

It's an impossible situation. The company is paying off multiple buses with each costing $500,000.

The family owned and operated business prepared with savings, but it will eventually run out.

Owner Bill Allen predicts it will take five years for 2019 profit levels to return.

The Federal CARES Act gave the airline industry $50 billion and Amtrak $1 billion.

The Motor Coach industry got nothing despite Lisa saying it transports more people than Amtrak in the U.S. per year.

"Your thoughts?" asked KOLO 8 Evening Anchor, Noah Bond.

"It was horrible. We're all mainly family owned and operated," said Lisa.

Safety Director Chris Knight says this doesn't make sense because of his industry's role in our Nations security.

"We move battalions of soldiers of Marines so they can go and get the training that they need," Knight said.

"I wish they would just see how much on a daily basis we provide," said Bus Driver, Amy Pauly.

Motor Coach business owners banded together across the United States and sent drivers from all 50 states to Washington, D.C. for a Wednesday, May 13 rally.

"We traveled the 6,000 mile round trip," said Lisa.

"You're in Washington D.C. You see thousands of other motor coaches that have come from across the country. What's going through your heart and mind?" asked Bond.

"It was incredible. Probably one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. There were 13 miles of buses on the freeway completely stopped back to back. A bus came from as far away as Alaska," said Lisa.

There are 3,000 motor coach companies in the United States.

American Bus Association spokesperson Melanie Hinton says as many as 75 percent could go out of business because of the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

"$15 billion gets us back on the road as a whole and then we in return will give $237 billion back to the government," said Lisa.

"Through tax revenue?" asked Bond.

"Yes. Tourism and tax revenue," said Lisa.

"Lisa have you reached out to Senator Catherine Cortez Masto or Senator Jacky Rosen?" asked Bond.

"We've sent them emails and we get the generic email back. So we would like to talk with them and we would love for people in this area to reach out to them to show them that motor coaches are very impactful," said Lisa.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020