PRESS RELEASE from United Motorcoach Association

United Motorcoach Association calls on METRO Board to Reconsider Action that Threatens Jobs and Local Small Businesses

(Alexandria, VA) Some Portland area workers could be getting coal in their holiday stockings as they are likely to be forced out of good, skilled jobs thanks to a recent decision by the Greater Portland Area Transit Authority (METRO. In addition, the action threatens the viability of locally-owned small businesses that have been providing the service to the community, supporting those local jobs.

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The United Motorcoach Association is calling for a solution that protects the ability of private motorcoach carriers to do business in Maine and support the local economy with jobs and service.

“UMA support the efforts of our members in Maine who are trying to educate the general public and Maine business owners. There is still time for the METRO Board to reverse this action,” said Stacy Tetschner, President and CEO of the United Motorcoach Association. “We ask that they weigh the unfairness of this displacement and explore formulas that would include the private sector and begin to reduce the burden on Maine’s taxpayers.”

“The type of local government action METRO proposes has serious repercussions for small businesses everywhere, not just in Portland, ME. We are talking about real people who have good jobs—drivers, mechanics, cleaners, dispatchers—losing their livelihood,” said Ken Presley, Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs and Industry Relations for the United Motorcoach Association. “And if that’s not enough, as taxpayers these same people are being asked to help subsidize the very local transit that squeezed them out of their jobs and business. It’s fundamentally unfair to the workers, business, and taxpayers to replace service that requires no public subsidies and pays taxes to one that requires endless subsidies.

In the U.S., most jobs are generated and sustained by small business, and Maine is no exception. According to a recent study that relied on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Census Bureau data, Maine was ranked as the 11th most entrepreneurial state in the country. The SBA also reports that Maine’s small businesses employ about three-fifths of Maine’s employees, representing 96.9 percent of all employers in the state.

About the United Motorcoach Association (UMA)

The United Motorcoach Association, with more than 1000 members, is the nation’s largest organization exclusively protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of private bus and motorcoach companies. Members include motorcoach companies and industry suppliers. To learn more about UMA go to their website. (www.UMA.org)

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