OHIO — The motorcoach industry came to a screeching financial stop once social distancing orders went into effect.
- Hundreds of motorcoaches headed to D.C. for a "Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness" rally
- Motorcoach owners across the state banded together to create the Ohio Motorcoach Association
- They say they are the "forgotton industry"
What You Need To Know
Most motorcoach companies are family-owned. They provide transportation for all types of organizations and events — from schools and universities, to pro sports teams, churches and corporations.
With no money coming in, a convoy of coaches is heading to Washington, D.C. to demand to meet with lawmakers for help. They’re calling it "Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness."
“Bring awareness to motorcoaches, how important motorcoaches are to the infrastructure of the United States, also bring the aspect of how important motorcoaches are to the United States and the life function of the economy,” said Ben Bolog, president of the Ohio Motorcoach Association.
Ben Bolog is a 5th-generation motorcoach owner out of Alliance, Ohio. He says since the pandemic began, the motorcoach industry has been devastated by the shutdown of entertainment and business-related travel.
“Incredibly bad, bad enough that I had to cash in on my own savings and 401(k)s and stuff to be able to pay for my employees, keep the lights on and pay just the little bills that we were able to pay,” said Bolog.
Motorcoach owners across the state banded together to create the Ohio Motorcoach Association and now they are heading to D.C. to show lawmakers they still exist.
“The rally is going to unite all the bus companies and all the manufacturers into one localized voice," said Bolog. "We’ve covered all of our windows with positive phrases, positive statements about the loss, statements about how many people we move and then we are going to roll into D.C. and do a rolling billboard in D.C. to teach and spread awareness about how we were the forgotten industry.”