Also in attendance were the Asian American Motorcoach Association, the International Motorcoach Group, the National Association of Motorcoach Operators, and Trailways, as well as leadership from every state and regional association in the motorcoach industry.
ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso and UMA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner released the following joint statement:
“We would like to thank the 116 members of our organizations that met with more than 150 Congressional offices to discuss the priorities and issues facing the motorcoach industry today. By bringing together the leadership, energy and strength of our organizations, we delivered a powerful message to our leaders in Congress.”
While the two organizations remain separate operational entities, they recognized the importance of presenting a unified front as they worked together to bring their individual members’ and the general industry’s concerns to D.C., with a focus on advancing shared safety and regulatory reforms, as well as preservation of the fuel tax exemption for motorcoaches.
Tetschner and Pantuso give credit for this first-time-ever combined fly-in to both volunteer leadership UMA Chair Gladys Gillis and ABA Chairman Don Devivo.
Three primary areas of regulatory reform were on the list of operators' priorities:
- Require separate and distinct impact analyses for rulemaking when it comes to trucks and buses in recognition of the fact that there are vast differences between trucking and the transportation of passengers.
- Require transit recipients to report verifiable data when certifying to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that they encouraged private sector participation in publicly funded projects. Currently, public transit operators do little more than “check-the-box” without providing any detail.
- Enhance transparency in the FTA's intercity bus grant program by requiring state Governors expanded certification, again with greater detail.