Buses Leave from St. Paul to Join National Convoy
Nick Orbe | May 12, 2020 AT 8:51 am
(KNSI) - A convoy of buses left St. Paul Monday on a national trip to Washington D.C. to seek financial help for the motor coach industry from Congress.
Local operator, Voigt's Bus Service is part of that convoy, which will meet up with other groups from around the country. Once the convoy reaches Washington, estimates say it will be over nine miles long.
Troy Voigt, president of Voigt's Bus Service, says with the state of the industry now, many of the country's 3,300 operators could face an uphill battle.
Voigt says purchasing just a single bus can cost over $600,000, and additionally insurance and maintenance can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
He says charter bus operators operate on thin margins on a good day.
"There's no chapter in any book, there's no crystal ball that tells you what's going to happen and this is what happens," Voigt says.
"We're not asking for the moon," Voigt says of the assistance the industry needs.
The convoy will arrive in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. The industry groups that organized the trip are pushing for assistance similar to what the airline and cruise industries will be getting.
Voigt says even a small percentage of motor coach operators shuttering could be catastrophic for the country and could cause major issues with transportation.