Suspended Service – Coronavirus Impact
Bethlehem, PA – Trans-Bridge Lines has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all operations amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past four weeks, the Trans-Bridge management staff has been monitoring passengers’ needs, declining counts, and modifying schedules in order to offer runs into New York City. Over the last 7-10 days that need shifted, with the emphasis geared towards getting essential workers, such as doctors, nurses and first responders to their places of employment at optimal times. Trans-Bridge ran service at a loss in order to fulfill our duty to provide reliable transportation. This week brought yet another shift, when ridership numbers plummeted by 88% of our normal weekday passenger counts. Our company felt that we could no longer endanger our motorcoach drivers and remaining passengers.
“Our desire to provide transportation for workers has now come into direct conflict with our social responsibility to do the right thing for our community,” said Tom JeBran, President, “The directives from Governor Wolf, New York and New Jersey state officials, media reports, webinars and conference calls with safety and industry organizations, have all led to the hard decision to shut down until such time we can return to normal operations. We will re-evaluate our options in two weeks.”
The service interruption costs Trans-Bridge more than just lost revenue. The hard costs of rental agreements on parking lots, space at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, bus loan payments and healthcare costs for employees, are very much a harsh reality. The hardship that laid off office employees, motorcoach drivers, and service staff will face is distressing. The effects are felt industry wide and spread to other sectors as transportation to tourist attractions, shows and event venues, who themselves, are closed or postponing events, are at a standstill.
“A large portion of our business is commuter runs into New York City, but we also offer charter bus services, which has also taken a substantial hit. School trips, proms and athletics are just not going to reschedule; they are canceled. Even when operations return to normal, the effects of that lost business will take a long time to recover from,” JeBran said.
Trans-Bridge is a member of the American Bus Association, Pennsylvania Bus Association, Bus Association of New York, International Motorcoach Group and Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association. These groups are working to inform government officials of the need for aid to the industry and encouraging bus companies to send out their pleas to congressmen to spread the word, which Trans-Bridge is participating in doing.
“At the end of the day, safety and reliability are the top priorities and we will alert our passengers when operations can resume in that manner.” JeBran said.