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Decamp Bus Lines of Montclair, NJ announces major suspension of service

August 21, 2020

It is a sad day when a family-owned bus company, in existence since 1870 (150 years!), a stalwart entity in the motorcoach charter, tour, and commuter bus world for decades; faces shut-down (second in five months) that may not be reversible in the foreseeable future. Decamp employs over 100 coach drivers and mechanics, of ATU Local 1614.

Decamp CEO states:

“When the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns were put into effect by the state of New Jersey and the City of New York, we did everything operationally and financially to avoid suspending service, even in the face of a 97 percent loss in ridership. Unfortunately, we were forced to suspend service on March 24. We resumed limited service beginning on June 8, anticipating ridership returning and increasing as the state of New Jersey and the City of New York began to reopen. Unfortunately, the return of ridership never materialized and without any relief from the federal or state government, we simply cannot sustain operations.”

“While the CARES Act directed $1.4 billion in FTA funding to New Jersey, that amount has been allocated only to NJ Transit, leaving private carriers such as DeCamp without a similar lifeline. Private carriers account for an estimated 35 percent of the scheduled bus service in the state, based on passenger miles, and our collective operations actually help to generate FTA funding for the state of New Jersey. So it is disappointing that we cannot access relief funds that would enable us to continue to serve our passengers and to provide jobs for our employees.”

“DeCamp has exhausted all the financial resources it had available, including stretching the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds from the expected eight weeks into 17 weeks. Without access to the federal CARES Act funding or the passage of the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act (CERTS), we had no choice except to suspend service again to conserve resources until passenger volumes return to a sustainable level.”

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Rules for PPP loan forgiveness

Aug. 21, 2020

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Peter Pan Bus Lines, as many other small to mid-size businesses, are functioning thanks to loan money from the federal government ear-tagged for payroll costs. Many individuals have asked what the process calls for, and if these loans will be “forgiven” if certain requirements are met. There has been wide confusion regarding the Payroll Protection Program, as it has been amended once or twice since its initial enactment. Here is the latest summary:

Current forgiveness rules require 60% of funds be spent on payroll costs. That’s down from the original 75% requirement. Eligible non-payroll costs can include business rent or lease payments, mortgage interest payments and utility payments. Payroll costs include gross wages and salaries, sick pay, paid time off, and state and local taxes on payroll. This includes contributions to employee health insurance and retirement plans, but not federal unemployment tax, federal unemployment insurance or matches to Medicare and FICA. 

Banks aren’t accepting loan forgiveness applications yet because they are asking the federal Small Business Administration for guidance on how to process the documentation. The PPP loan program ends Sept. 1, 2020 according to sources.

Discussions are continuing in Congress regarding relief for the Motorcoach Transportation Industry. The following proposals are being discussed in either the Senate or House: HEALS ACT, CERTS ACT, RESTART ACT.

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NH using Covid subsidies for Concord, CJ and Dartmouth coach

Aug. 11, 2020

Governor Sununu of New Hampshire approved its Department of Transportation request for $7.5 million in federal aid to be allocated to Concord Coach Lines, Dartmouth Lines, and C & J Trailways to re-start intercity coach travel between NH and Boston, Ma.

All three companies have been shut down since late March, 2020. At Concord, service is scheduled to be restored on Aug. 16, 2020.

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