Bus drivers to roll into DC to call for federal help

Motor coach owners and drivers rendezvous near O’Hare Airport on May 11, 2020 in Rosemont, Illinois. The owners and drivers will be departing in a caravan to Washignton, D.C., where they will join an anticipated 400+ other coaches for the Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness rally expected to take place Wednesday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Bus drivers from across the country will descend on D.C. streets Wednesday, when they will urge the federal government to help their struggling industry.

Motorcoaches Rolling for Awareness is expected to attract nearly a thousand drivers — which is about 8 miles of buses — to the District around 10 a.m. The buses will then circle the Capitol and the White House.

Al Spence, the president of the Maryland Motor Coach Association and the owner of AS Midway Trailways in Baltimore, estimated that about 90% of the industry has taken a hit.

“I was brought up in this business; I have people’s interests at heart,” he said.

Spence got his start in the industry 40 years ago after his father, who started in the 1960s. He expects Wednesday to be intense but peaceful.

“What we’re trying to do is bring some awareness to Congress and say, ‘Hey, we’re here. We need some funds. Our industry has been decimated,’” Spence said.

The goal is to get back to moving sports teams, students, tourists and other groups soon. Though it will be some time before the industry is back on its feet, even after quarantine is over, Spence is hopeful the event will bring awareness and support.

“The ultimate goal is to get back open, operating and on our feet again,” Spence said. “I think that will be the silver lining at the end of the road for all of us.”

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Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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