Dear BANY Member,

On behalf of the BANY Board of Directors I would first like to say that we hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy. Our board continues to meet via conference call weekly so that we can be here for you, our members. We will continue to send regular updates on our activities related to COVID-19 and will share pertinent information and resources.

This week, BANY sent a memo to the New York State Department of Transportation requesting regulatory and administrative relief, you will see a summary of this memo below. I also participated in an ABA board call where I learned that the most recent federal government stimulus package does not include the motorcoach industry and our tourism partners. It is imperative that our industry write to our Congressional Representatives so that they can hear our unified voices and know how our companies are being catastrophically impacted. Our national association’s (ABA and UMA) have offered excellent templates for both Motorcoach Operators and Drivers. I encourage all of you to send letters and even call your representatives ASAP. Below we provide links to the templates so that you can do this easily and quickly. 

I’d also ask you to reach out to your local newspapers and stations. The more attention we can focus on the plight of the motorcoach industry and our travel/tourism partners during this crisis the better!

Warm Regards,

Cam
BANY President
Hale Transportation - Oneonta Division
American Bus Association - COVID-19: Federal Repsonse

Every member of Congress, House of Representatives and Senate, needs to hear your voice and how you and your company have been impacted. 

ABA developed a template letter that you can use to email your Representatives:
  • Click here for a Motorcoach Operator template letter. (UPDATED 3/20)
  • Click here for Motorcoach Drivers template letter. (3/23)
  • You can find your Representatives contact details here.
  • You can find your Senator’s contact details here.


The CARES ACT

Last night the United States Senate unanimously passed H.R. 748 (116) the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“The CARES Act”). The House of Representatives is expected to pass the legislation on Friday.

The stimulus package includes aid for individuals, industries impacted by the pandemic and small businesses. Below are some items that might be of particular interest:

Paycheck Protection Act (Employers of no more than 500) – Small Business Administration
  • Maximum loan of $10million (amount tied to payroll costs)
  • Allowable used of loan are employee salaries, paid/medical leave, insurance premiums, mortgage/rent and utility payments.
  • Business cannot also receive an SBA economic injury disaster loan in response to COVID-19
  • Does not require collateral or a personal guarantee.
  • Eligibility for loan forgiveness if requirements are met.
Unemployment was increased by $600 per week for up to four months to make up for 100% of lost wages.

If a business does not opt to utilize an SBA loan they can receive a refundable tax credit for keeping workers on the payroll, if they took a 50% loss compared to the same quarter the prior year. Credit is based on qualified wages paid to employees and is capped.

Hospitality businesses can immediately file amended refunds, deducting from their taxes what they have spent on capital property improvements. 
U.S. Small Business Administration Fact Sheet – Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Disaster Loan Assistance Available: Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.

Summary of BANY's Memorandum to DOT

On Monday, March 23rd, the BANY Board of Directors submitted list of questions to the New York State Department of Transportation requesting regulatory and administrative assistance for the motorcoach industry. Specifically, we asked for flexibility with regards to inspection deadlines, re-inspection criteria and delays in fee collections. We also asked about waivers with respect to 19-A compliance items. And made inquiries as to whether there is the ability to ease the process of re-registering buses that have surrendered their license plates.

NYSDOT is reviewing the requests, we are hopeful that we will be receiving answers quickly and appreciate our continued partnership with our state regulatory agencies.
U.S. Department of Labor Invites Stakeholders to a National Online Dialogue on Paid Family and Medical Leave and Paid Sick Leave
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act 

U.S. Department of Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting a national online dialogue, Providing Expanded Family and Medical Leave to Employees Affected by COVID-19, to help employers and workers understand their responsibilities and rights, respectively, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

On March 18, 2020, the President signed into law the FFCRA, requiring certain employers to provide employees with paid family and medical leave or paid sick leave for specified reasons in response to COVID-19.

The department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will administer and enforce the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA. The provisions will apply from their effective date through Dec. 31, 2020.

UMA Online Weekly Town Halls Thursdays at 2:00PM  

UMA's hosted online Town Hall meetings will be held weekly on Thursdays at 2:00PM. Join UMA to discuss the most current issues that matter to operators.

Emergency Webinar on COVID-19 Transportation Industry Risk Mitigation & Resiliency

Recorded on March 20, 2020

The webinar can be viewed for free, on demand, at this link.



FMCSA's Response to the
COVID-19 Emergency 

FMCSA Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency - For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles 

FMCSA grants, until June 30, 2020, a waiver from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The Agency has initiated this action in response to the President’s declaration of a national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b) related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  This waiver is effective March 20, 2020 and expires on June 30, 2020. 


Notice of Enforcement Policy on Expiring CDLs

This Notice of Enforcement Policy, effective from March 24, 2020 to June 30, 2020, provides needed relief from specified FMCSRs for CLP holders, CDL holders, and non-CDL drivers and motor carriers using those drivers. This Notice of Enforcement Policy applies to all CLP holders, CDL holders, and non-CDL drivers whose license was issued for less than the maximum period established by 49 CFR 383.25 and 383.73 and was valid on February 29, 2020 and expired on or after March 1, 2020.


Disruptions to Drug and Alcohol Testing Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Providentially Declares National Emergency

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations provide reasonable flexibility to motor carrier employers and their drivers subject to testing under 49 CFR part 382 to address the COVID-19 national emergency. FMCSA is aware that, as described in ODAPC’s guidance, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency are interfering with, and in some cases, may be preventing, employer and driver compliance with current drug and alcohol testing requirements. In addition to the guidance provided by ODAPC, see below for further information specifically related to FMCSA’s testing requirements.

DMV Updates

DMV 19-A Carrier Update

We are aware that many carriers are experiencing difficulty in completing their annual and biennial 19-A procedures due to the constraints caused by the COVID-19 emergency. While the Bus Driver Unit urges you to make every effort to comply with 19-A procedural requirements, please be assured that full consideration of the circumstances will be given when conducting future compliance reviews. If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding 19-A requirements during this emergency, please email us and we will respond as soon as we can.


Notice of Waiver of International Registration Plan (IRP) Requirements

In compliance with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.8 to slow the spread of COVID-19, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles announced today that all DMV offices and auto bureaus statewide are closed until further notice. This includes both state- and county-run field offices. While offices are closed, expiration dates for driver licenses, non-driver IDs, and registrations will be extended.

IRP Registrations, and Temporary Registrations expiring on or after March 1, 2020, will be extended through April 19, 2020. At this time, we ask that all IRP jurisdictions waive and delay enforcement action on these vehicles operating in your jurisdiction during this timeframe. If the order is extended, we will ask jurisdictions to continue to waive and delay enforcement action until New York is no longer under a State of Emergency.
 
Any questions concerning this can be sent via email to  IRB@dmv.ny.gov .

Bus Association of New York | 125 State Street, Albany, New York 12207| 518.426.3233

BANY@BANYBus.org | www.BANYBus.org