SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Motorcoach buses from all over the country are headed to Washington D.C. this week. Hundreds of bus companies will rally on capitol hill over the harsh impact the pandemic has had on the industry.
"I like getting behind the wheel and going," said John Rusk.
John Rusk is a bus driver for Village Travel, driving all over the country for sports games, vacations, and school trips for 15 years. However, since the pandemic hit in March, the bus has been parked.
"There was absolutely no business going on, everything canceled," said Rusk.
Rusk says March and April are usually two of their busiest months, but with people not traveling, there has been nowhere to go causing him to be laid off, among many others. He says this will especially hurt all of the smaller motor coach companies.
"If this thing goes for a year, and people aren't traveling there won't be any of the bus companies left," said Rusk.
Rusk will join hundreds of other bus companies from all 50 states to bring awareness to the financial struggles brought on by COVID-19 at a rally in Washington D.C. A rally, Village Travel Owner, Jeff Arensdorf says is necessary.
"The goal of the rally and our associations is to bring some notice to the industry and let the government know that we are still here and just because the economy is starting to open up it's going the be months before we see any noticeable change," said Arensdorf.
Arensdorf says they have lost $15 million since the pandemic hit and he doesn't foresee any substantial amount of income until the fall.
"We are hoping fall sports, college sports are a big deal and even if there aren't fans we transport a lot of teams," said Arensdorf.
But, Arensdorf says he just hopes the government considers extending its assistance to the travel industry as it will take months to get back where they should be. And as for Rusk, he is just looking forward to getting back behind the wheel this week.