BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The motorcoach industry has planned a national rally in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

Dozens of bus companies are asking for federal support in the wake of the pandemic.

More than 1,000 buses, including some from our area, are expected to drive around the Capitol Building and National Mall in the "rolling rally."

Buses from Bethlehem-based Trans-Bridge Lines and Amity Township-based Klein Transportation left early Wednesday morning to drive down.

"This is to call attention to the plight of our industry and ask Congress and the White House to help get back on our feet," said Tom Jebran, with Trans-Bridge.

A Klein executive says the industry has already lost more than $8 billion since the outbreak.

She says buses transport 600 million passengers each year, and are also very important in times of crisis.

"When there are natural disasters like hurricanes, FEMA contacts the motorcoach industry to do mass evacuations, so without these small businesses being able to make it through, this it will hurt," said Alison Klein Sherman, vice president of finance at Klein Transportation.

The industry is looking for $15 billion in federal grants and loans, and an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program.

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