Minnesota bus companies send convoy seeking assistance from Congress

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: May 11, 2020 01:06 PM
Created: May 11, 2020 07:43 AM

Those within Minnesota's bus service industry have planned a convoy to Washington, D.C., to seek assistance from Congress.

According to a release, roughly 25 buses will make the drive from St. Paul to Washington starting Monday.

Citing COVID-19, bus service operators said reservations have been canceled through the fall and many within the industry are without work.

"Buses typically complete 600,000,000 annual passenger trips connecting communities, stimulating tourism, enabling emergency evacuations, transporting sports teams, facilitating critical business meetings and conferences, driving educational trips, and moving the military," the release states. "While revenue is non-existent, and resources scarce, almost all bus companies are participating because our industry may not make it without intervention."

Rick Thielen, president of the Minnesota Charter Bus Operator's Association and vice president of Thielen Bus Lines, Inc., told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they are seeking "grants of $10 billion and loans of $5 billion to keep this industry alive."

"A lot of the companies that you see lined up here today are also in small town America, most of them are mom and pop family operations," Thielen said.

The convoy was scheduled to depart at 9 a.m. Monday, planning to arrive in Washington on Wednesday.

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