MILWAUKEE – Badger Bus mentioned enterprise is beginning to get again on observe after months of pace bumps due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however there’s nonetheless assist wanted.
Authorities funding may hold 1000’s of motorcoach corporations — like Badger Bus — going throughout the nation.
Badger Bus is celebrating its a hundredth 12 months in enterprise, however as a substitute of throwing round confetti, there’s a regular spray of disinfectant. It’s all a part of the corporate’s effort to maintain clients wholesome and get them again on the bus.
“Within the motorcoach trade proper now, a lot of the corporations are about 90% down in income,” mentioned Badger Bus co-owner John Meier, the third technology to function the family-owned enterprise. “We have been right down to about 10 buses working a day…(out of) over 300.”
Disinfecting course of on a Badger bus motorcoach
In March, Badger Bus laid off about 600 employees. Meier mentioned many have been rehired as enterprise begins to bounce again.
“Gosh, the Big Ten just got announced they’ll play. We have already been in contact with the Badgers. They will be utilizing our buses and incoming groups coming to Madison.”
There’s nonetheless an enormous want, although, for monetary help.
“It is not your full coaches of 40 or 50 individuals on a motorcoach anymore. It is perhaps 18 to twenty individuals tops,” mentioned Wendy Dobrzynski, government director of Circle Wisconsin.
Circle Wisconsin is a corporation that markets members — just like the Milwaukee Public Museum — to group tour companies.
“Airways bought assist, trains bought assist, (the) motor coach trade bought no assist,” Dobrzynski mentioned.
In Might, Dobrzynski joined a thousand different coach buses from all 50 states in Washington D.C. to foyer for the passing of the Coronavirus Financial Aid for Tanspoerations Companies (CERTS) Act — a $10 billion lifeline to the motorcoach trade.
“That was again in Might. And we’re nonetheless speaking about this. We’re nonetheless making an attempt to get this CERTS Act,” mentioned Dobrzynski.
With out CERTS, the American Bus Affiliation estimates that 40% of small, family-owned transportation companies may shut by the top of this 12 months.
The act is at present stalled in Congress.