The CERTS Act: What it is and Why it’s Important to the Transportation Industry
The effects of a global pandemic have been far-reaching. And like many businesses, the transportation industry has been hit hard. With quarantines, social distancing, and stay-at-home mandates, the need for travel is at a record low. 2020 saw a national reduction of 58% in people using public transportation. As a result, the industry is having to modify its efforts to remaining functional with a limited workforce. This is why we want to talk about something called the CERTS Act.
Tourism greatly impacts the motorcoach business. If people aren’t traveling, there’s no need for shuttle services. With trips and events being canceled due to coronavirus concerns, The motorcoach industry has taken a large economical hit. Even worse, there’s no telling when the economy and the travel industry will begin to recover.
Fortunately, the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act was recently passed, giving financial assistance and hope to the transportation industry. Through this act, motorcoach companies can stay in business until the economy can recover.
The CERTS Act Explained
When the CARES Act was passed in March 2020, many members of the motorcoach industry felt it was not enough. As a result, industry leaders came together for Buses Move America, a rally in Washington. This was in an effort to raise awareness about the need for funding assistance for motorcoach businesses. After all, coach buses impact schools, military, athletics, entertainers, youth groups, churches, and the transportation network as a whole.
Shortly thereafter, the CERTS Act was introduced to congress. The bill urged the Department of Treasury to provide $8 billion in grants and emergency assistance. It was particular transportation service providers who had faced significant revenue loss due to COVID-19. The CERTS Act was passed in December. It promised $2 billion in economic relief to American motorcoach companies and passenger-vessel operators. While the total amount was far less than hoped for, the passing of this bill was a huge step forward.
Why the CERTS Act is Important to the Transportation Industry
The CERTS Act was the first time in history that the motorcoach industry was specifically mentioned in a relief bill. This is significant. Not only because the industry is now recognized in the federal subsidies arena alongside Amtrak and the airline business. It lays the foundation to be included in future relief opportunities. Many motorcoach companies aren’t large airlines or Amtrak, we are small businesses.
The financial assistance provided will help pay for employee salaries, offset insurance costs, and aid in the payments for and maintenance of the buses. Industry leaders hope this financial relief will help keep small businesses like ours afloat. At least until the pandemic subsides and people resume the use of public transportation.
Additionally, conditions of the CERTS Act include rehiring employees who were furloughed during the pandemic. Also, reinstating benefits that may have been lost during this time. This results in more jobs and improved working conditions, relieving strain on other employees and increasing work productivity.
Chesapeake Charter is Available for Hire
During a global pandemic, the CERTS Act has allowed several motorcoach businesses to remain in operation, including Chesapeake Charter. Our charter bus rental service is taking measures to provide a positive, socially distanced ride for our customers. From disinfecting every bus and optimizing air quality to screening our staff before and after each shift, Chesapeake Charter is going the extra mile to ensure our riders have a clean, safe transportation experience.