Traffic light project may have to wait

MOWEAQUA, Ill. (WAND) - An Illinois motorcoach company is joining other industry leaders in a national demonstration for federal financial help.

These companies have faced severe financial issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the push for assistance, they're planning a rolling rally around the U.S. Capitol and National Mall in Washington, D.C., which is scheduled for May 13. 

Buses from Moweaqua business Timi's Tours are leaving at 6 a.m. Monday for this demonstration. Vice President Jack Kaufman said something must be done to help a struggling industry.

“Our industry is full of big buses and small businesses. All of us have been devastated by the coronavirus," he said. "Our buses sit idle while our employees remain at home. We are eager to return to serving the community and people we love. We are the backbone of the American Transportation Network."

Motorcoach industry leaders are seeking $10 billion from the federal government in grants meant for operational and payroll assistance, along with another $5 billion in long-term zero percent interest rate loans. According to a Timi's Tours press release, the industry employs nearly 100,000 people in close to 3,000 companies, most of which are family-owned small businesses.

The release said nearly 36,000 buses are sitting idle as a result of the pandemic. 

"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," Kaufman added. "I look forward to joining hundreds of my fellow motorcoach operators in Washington to showcase the strength in numbers of our industry and the positive benefits we provide to every community in America.” 

Find out more about the motorcoach industry here.

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