Over the years, I have predicted countless things in the pages of National Bus Trader. No reader will ever find me to have been wrong. Nor am I wrong about this: Some day, charter and tour service will come back stronger than ever. But that day is a long way off. The challenge is what to do in the meantime. Particularly from the Pandemic, America is in far deeper collapse than most people would have thought possible. Recent estimates have suggested that renters (and their families) of 20 million households could be evicted after the short-term bans on evictions expire.
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Responding to Adversity by Abandoning Support Unusual for a writer in a motorcoach magazine, I have often illustrated problems which surfaced in other modes. And I have discussed how operators, agencies and other parties associated with those modes have succeeded or failed to address them. These lessons are far more important now because of the impact of COVID-19 on motorcoach ridership, vehicle production, and the successes or failures of the industry as a whole to cope with these problems. An example of a partial success was discussed in the November, 2020 edition of NATIONAL BUS TRADER: “Small Efforts and Big Differences.” An example of the
Amtrak, the heavily-subsidized enemy of the motorcoach industry, is now outdoing its airline industry colleagues. But as a quasi-government monopoly, the taxpayers will effectively cover the damages if problems develop. That Amtrak may not even belong in most parts of the country is only a footnote. The latest development was disclosed formidably in the October 14, 2020 issue of Mass Transit, re-characterizing a story from The Times Union, in Albany, New York. Amtrak’s activities were actually presented as great news: Mass Transit titled its article: “NY: With cutbacks, some Amtrak trains now sold out.” The fact that this feat was