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Motorcoach industry hit hard by Coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 7:20 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 19:20:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) — An industry that has come to a complete halt by the coronavirus pandemic is the motor coach-bus business. Astro Travel & Tours has had every single one of the buses parked on their lot since early March. Those buses have not moved in almost two months.

To put it simply, Matt Brown, the President and CEO of Astro said, "This is just going to decimate our industry."

According to Brown, every facet of the motor coach business, nationwide, is completely shut off. "It's not like you lose 60% of your business, or 75%, I mean, it's 100% shut down."

Astro is a big part of national conventions, school field trips, collegiate teams, and so much more. Kevin O'Conner with Transportation Management Services, explained it's been rough with more than 70 events being postponed or canceled since March.

"No events in May, no events in June. We're hopeful that a couple of July ones will continue," said O'Connor.

Both O'Connor and Brown explain the motor coach industry has received zero help from the government.

Brown said, "We provide travel to 600 million passengers a year, airlines conversely provide for 700 million, Amtrak, I think, is about 60 million people. Amtrak and the airline industry has gotten huge bailout money from the U.S. government. The motorcoach industry has gotten nothing."

O'Connor added, "Most of them earn the bulk of their earnings, March, April, May and June. That carries them through the rest of the year. So, when you pull that out, it's not just a downturn, it's devastating."

While states are slowly rebounding, Brown said there is no timetable as to when large events will begin again. His buses will remain parked, not making a single dollar.