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Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021

UMA Video briefing on mask mandate from TSA's David Cooper
 
 
 
Do you still have questions about the new mask mandate for transportation? UMA has edited David Cooper's presentation on the topic from last week's Town Hall and it is now available as a 30 minute video.
 
Click the YouTube video link to watch or share with staff.
 
To request clarification on any provisions of the Security Directive please email TSA-Surface@tsa.dhs.gov.
Mask Mandate Briefing
 
Monday, Feb. 1, 2021
CERTS coalition makes urgent call for additional $40B in COVID relief
 
Following a year of unprecedented losses, the private motorcoach, school bus and passenger vessel industries have called on Congress to fund $40 billion in relief programs to aid their industries, even as companies are awaiting the $2 billion allocated in the CERTS Act late last year.
 
UMA, ABA, the Passenger Vessel Association, and the National School Transportation Association sent a letter to Congressional leaders late today, saying, "As Congress is moving quickly to provide further relief, our industries cannot wait to seek additional relief until the $2 billion is distributed. In addition, the $2 billion in CERTS funding provided is woefully inadequate to help all our essential industries return to anything close to pre-pandemic health."
 
"All our industries provide public transportation by vehicle or vessel and all have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of the ongoing pandemic," the letter stated. "These operations were the first to shut down and will be the last to fully recover. We deeply appreciate the $2 billion in relief provided in the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) program included in the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021."
 
January 4, 2021
FAQ: 'CERTS' & PPP
Here is the beginning of a list of answers UMA will provide ongoing as we learn more about implementation of the law. Join us for a Town Hall, Thursday at 2 p.m. ET. 
 
  1. Is it possible to change the PPP to 40% labor and 60% for other eligible expenses? No, 60% is now law. It would take another act of Congress to change it. The Secretary does not have the discretion to modify.
  2. Will they utilize a NAICS code to determine "CERTS" eligibility? That has not yet been determined; however, in the instance of over-the-road bus it is well defined in the Federal statute. (The term "over-the-road bus" means a bus characterized by an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage compartment.- 6 USCS § 1151)
  3. Regarding “CERTS,” can the smaller companies be protected to make sure they receive a little piece of the pie? I would just hate to see some companies not get anything. Treasury has already expressed concern for that issue and many of the larger OTRB operating companies that contract with state/local transit have already received Federal subsidies in the CARES Act. I suspect a cap may be imposed but it remains too early to tell.  
  4. How detailed (since this is a grant) do we believe the government will be in auditing the use of these funds? Typical with Federal grants, eventually the recipient will be required to furnish “certifications and assurances." Fibbing is not an option and the Justice Department prosecutes small businesses nearly every week for misrepresentations. Congress takes this seriously, as abuse of funds reflects poorly on them.
  5. Any idea of which entity will create, review & process the applications? The legislation appoints the Secretary of Treasury. We do know Treasury is already working on the CERTS Act and we suspect it will remain under their purview.    
  6. Any best guess on timing of the process? As previously mentioned, they have already initiated the process. The legislation leaves considerable discretion to Treasury so they must fill in a lot of the “blanks” along with going through the rulemaking process. Our best guess at this time is 45 to 60 days unless they have a path to expedited rulemaking. 
December 28, 2020
The CERTS Act is law
by Ken Presley
 
Dec. 28, 2020 | Washington, DC  President Trump signed the bill containing the CERTS Act last night bringing to rest uncertainty over a threatened veto.
 
The President had threatened to veto the legislation despite his staff having been part of the negotiations, and assurances he would sign the omnibus bill. After passage in the House and Senate, President Trump insisted on inclusion of $2,000 per person stimulus instead of the $600 contained in the bill.
 
Already working on the CERTS portion of the bill, the President’s signature triggers an actual proposed rule regarding the requirements and application process.
 
The bill also includes $284 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), providing a critical second forgivable loan to businesses with a sizable reduction in gross sales (25% or more).
 
By signing the bill, the President also averted a potential government shutdown. 
 
 
Resources you need: Review Dec. 23 special Town Hall slides and recordings to prepare to get funding
 
Download the slides and watch the recording for full information. The next UMA Town Hall will take place Thursday, January 7 at 2 p.m. ET.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Tool

You can find the new PPP forgiveness resource at PPPForgivenessTool.com. Any business that took out a PPP loan can use the tool free, regardless of whether they worked with a bank or a non-bank lender.

More Than 1 Million Masks Made Available for Motorcoach Industry Drivers & Front-Line Employees as Industry Restarts

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), alongside the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has been working with states, industries, and stakeholders to ensure that transportation workers receive the support they need. The cloth facial coverings secured by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be sent out over the next 2 weeks through the U.S. Postal Service to a variety of state motorcoach association locations to assist in making masks widely available for delivery or pick up.

The masks are intended for use by motorcoach drivers, mechanics, support personnel and other front line employees in your business. They are NOT for distribution to passengers.

“Transportation workers are on the frontlines of keeping our transportation systems operational during this public health emergency and their wellbeing and safety is paramount,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

A list of distribution points is available here. 

For those motorcoach operators not located near any of the distribution points listed on the link above or if any of those points get over-subscribed, you can request additional masks from UMA, ABA, or Trailways utilizing the link below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/88F3LYT