The coronavirus pandemic has caused nationwide shutdowns for everything from schools and businesses to airlines and bus companies.

Motor coaches from across the country are heading to Washington as part of a protest next week in the hopes of showing Congress how important their industry is and how much of a hit they’ve taken during the pandemic.

About 100,000 workers from 337 motorcoach companies across the U.S. — including right here in Tuscaloosa — are rolling into Washington, D.C., on Monday to send a message about the importance of their industry.

They’ll be asking Congress and the White House to extend economic relief to motor coach companies.

Tuscaloosa Charter Service hasn’t moved a bus since March 15, and that’s losing them thousands of dollars.

“We’re requesting that the motor coach industry is put back on the road,” said Tuscaloosa Charter Service Manager Alicia Adams.

The service has 11 buses and 20 employees who have been out of service for just shy of two months.

“Nobody is moving,” Adams said. “We have a few companies that are doing little things like taking different companies to work. There was a company in Birmingham moving miners back and forth, but nobody is working.”

There are more than 3,000 bus and motor coach companies across the country. Many are small, family-owned businesses.

Tuscaloosa Charter Service does business with University of Alabama Athletics, Stillman College, Alabama’s public schools and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, just to name a few.

Since the company hasn’t moved since March, they’ve lost more than $30,000. In a good month, the company can make up to $80,000.

The buses and motor coaches will be leaving for the trip Monday.

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