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.”