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Over 800 Buses Rally To Capitol

Rolling For Awareness: Saving Our Buses

 

by Rhonda Pearson - May 7, 2020

Jamie Morral, owner of JGM Coach, LLC, started his business by purchasing a bus in his mid-twenties and converting it into a tour bus for a band. He later purchased a couple more buses and repaired them with the intention to sell. It was at this time a potential customer from Nashville saw what he was doing online and asked if he would lease them out.  When the deal went south about a year later, Morral brought the buses to Wellsboro

He proceeded to contact music managers and tour managers. About two months later he had both buses on the road for tours with bands.

From there his business grew to include a partnership with his brother and shop manager, with a fleet totaling 16 coaches.

Since COVID-19, JGM Coach has had to think of alternative uses for their coaches. Prevost, the makers of the buses that JGM Coach uses, contacted Jamie with another contact out of Ohio. Together, they came up with the idea of motor coach-based mobile testing.

According to their plan, the coaches would be able to be outfitted with a medical staff, tents, barricades and more. This would allow for medical staff to travel to areas where more testing is needed.

They later received permission from Laurel Health Centers to use one of their Wellsboro parking lots to set up a demonstration of what the coaches would be used for and how they could be easily accessible.

They produced a video of the demonstration and sent hundreds of emails to FEMA, Homeland Security, hospitals, and congressmen for consideration. They have received positive responses, however, there is no confirmation of launching their project at this time.

On May 13, a Rolling for Awareness rally will be taking place in Washington D.C. Coach bus services are struggling, and in order to raise awareness, many companies are coming together for this rally by traveling to D.C. to circle the nation’s capitol. JGM Coach will be bringing four of their coaches, Benedicts Bus Service will also be participating.

“The motorcoach industry, we figure, is about 3,000 companies and over 100,000 employees. If you watch the news, you always hear our government officials talking about the airlines and the cruise industry,” said Morral. “You never hear them talk about the bus industry. If you look at the numbers, the bussing industry is very close in comparison to transporting as many people as the airline industry. Out of these 3,000 companies, most of them are mom-and-pop companies, and it’s going to be hard for them to survive this.”

Forty-two states will be represented, and at the time of this broadcast 800 buses are believed to be participating.

If you would like to know more about JGM Coach, please visit their website: JGMCoach.com. If you would like to know about the upcoming “Rolling for Awareness” rally, see the press release here.

Benedicts Bus Service also has a press release available about the event. Read it here.

Credits:

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Rhonda Pearson

Anchor: Rhonda Pearson

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Laurel Health Centers, As a public service by Jim & Mary McIlvaine

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