May 13 (UPI) -- Hundreds of buses drove through Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as a trade association for motorcoach operators called on lawmakers to provide federal funding to the industry.
The rally, organized by the American Bus Association, called for $15 billion in grants and loans as well as modifications to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and Paycheck Protection Program to help the industry survive the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is a positive event showcasing how big buses and small businesses move America. Buses will be decorated with informative signs about the motorcoach industry including: the groups they serve, the economic impact they make and the people they employ," the ABA said in a statement ahead of the event.
The ABA said the industry has laid off or furloughed nearly 90 percent of its national workforce made up of nearly than 100,000 workers.
It added that almost 600 million motorcoach trips take place each year and nearly 36,000 buses are currently sitting idle.