SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Atchison Transportation has been around in Spartanburg since 1949, but their economic hardships brought on by COVID-19 has cost them 95% of their business and they say they’ve never seen anything like this.
Some small businesses in the Upstate have received financial assistance from the CARES ACT and PPP from the government, but the tour bus industry said they feel as though they’ve been forgotten.
Pinckney Spencer, division manager at Atchison Transportation, said they’ve taken a major hit which has forced management to lay off employees, and reduce their staff down to four people.
“I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, and I’ve been here for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Spencer said.
Even though they’re a business that many entities rely on for transportation across the country, they’re having a hard time staying afloat.
“We transport school children on field trips to Washington, educational trips, senior groups, military movements, we’ve been to Texas for hurricane evacuations,” Spencer said.
This Wednesday, Atchison along with several hundred tour bus companies across the country are teaming up and heading to Washington, D.C. to demand Congress to step up and pass legislation for financial assistance for the tour bus industry.
“We’re asking Congress to provide us between 5 and 10 billion dollars specifically for the motor coach industry and we’re looking for that in the form of loans, grants or a combination of both,” Spencer said.
The motor coach buses will leave Spartanburg and drive their buses to Capitol Hill on Wednesday where the buses will circle the US Capitol and White House.
For more information on Atchison Transportation, please visit their website.