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Baltimore bus service owner one of hundreds of motorcoach operators rallying in D.C. on Wednesday as industry seeks coronavirus aid

The Baltimore Sun’s reporter Wilborn P. Nobles III shares information on the steps the city has taken to support the homeless population during this time?

Hundreds of motorcoaches across the country are expected to ride around Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to bring attention to the bus industry, a sector of the economy that has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the rally, named Motorcoach Rolling for Awareness, motorcoaches will drive around the nation’s capital while bearing messages urging the federal government to provide relief to an industry that owners say was neglected in the CARES Act, the $2 trillion aid relief package for families and businesses in response to the pandemic. The gathering is jointly organized by the American Bus Association and United Motorcoach Association.

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Marc Komins, executive vice president of Superior Tours, a family-owned transportation company in Baltimore, said Tuesday in a phone interview that he plans on participating in the daylong event. He said all of his scheduled trips since March 10 have been canceled as the pandemic shut down transportation services around the country.

Komins had to temporarily lay off all his employees and predicted his business won’t fully return until spring 2021.

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While states across the country have begun to lift restrictions on stay-at-home orders, including Maryland, Komins said uncertainty looms for a company that makes a living off events such as school field trips and college sporting events, all of which have been canceled and aren’t assured of resuming in the fall.

“Everywhere that we can take people is closed,” Komins said. “We’ve had zero trips the last two months. ... Nothing is reopened yet, so this is going to continue for months.”

Local public transportation services also have been affected by the pandemic. The Maryland Transit Administration has severely reduced its service times. With the state under stay-at-home orders, ridership has dropped precipitously compared with this time last year.

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