The Transportation Alliance proactively advances and protects the interests of the passenger transportation for-hire industry in the legislative, regulatory and judicial arenas. Click below or scroll down to review TTA's positions, activities and how you can get involved!
- COVID-19 Response
- Other Top Issues
- Legislative Fly-In
12-Point Legislative Program
Here is a brief summary of the legislative and regulatory issues The Transportation Alliance is currently addressing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- We were told early on not to expect industry grants. With that in mind, TTA drafted its own plan called the Small Business Jump-start America Act, a commonsense economic plan that has been received well by congressional leaders, the White House, numerous industries, and even some in the banking community. This act would provide certain key small business that are vital to reopening America with the access to capital they need without leveraging their businesses or their future. The Small Business Jump-start America Act is now supported by over 310,000 small businesses representing over 8 million jobs in 41 states. (More detailed information is provided below.)
- Providing temporary and targeted liability-relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These crucial protections should safeguard businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, as well as healthcare providers and facilities from unfair lawsuits so they can continue to contribute to a safe and effective recovery from this pandemic.
- Our industry has been on the front lines supporting hospital personnel by taking them to and from work at all hours of the day. Our industry continues to take some of the most vulnerable populations to and from critical medical appointments. Our operators have stepped up and now deliver life-saving medications and meals to those sheltered in place. We would like to ask that during national emergencies or pandemics like COVID-19 that a new category be created for National Responders, which would then allow them to be eligible for hazard pay.
- TTA is currently working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a solution to help provide TTA members with a pipeline to personal protection equipment (PPE) going forward. We have also recently reached out to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on this matter. This is critical. This is another area in which we need immediate help. We need the DOT and other agencies to help us create a pipeline for these products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come out with strict rules, which we support, but without access to the needed PPE we will continue to see more businesses close, leaving passengers without safe transportation.
- The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which included a provision that codified our association’s suggested language on non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). This is an important step in barring the HHS from implementing rules that would allow states to opt out of providing NEMT services. This provision is critical to ensuring those who need our help the most have access to transportation. The NEMT program saves the government money and we would urge the committee to include the House bipartisan language in the next stimulus bill.
- TTA has reached out to the U.S. Department of Education asking it to issue guidance on Section 18006 of the CARES Act regarding the requirement that, “A local educational agency, State, institution of higher education, or other entity that receives funds under ‘Education Stabilization Fund’, shall to the greatest extent practicable, continue to pay its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to coronavirus.” Many of our members have received support through this program while other school districts have disregarded this provision of the CARES Act. Schools have been given money to help support their needs during this pandemic. That money should be used as Congress intended. To do this, we must define the phrase “to the greatest extent practicable.”
- We were very pleased that, within a matter of days of our request in March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security included our industry as essential services, a key designation to keep transportation companies on the road in the face of widespread, mandatory business closures across the country.
- Numerous members of TTA have qualified for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, an effort that involved daily, and sometimes hourly, updates to our membership. We also recently worked with key House and Senate leaders on modifications to the PPP loan program, which extends the period in which companies need to use the loans to 24 weeks. We also pushed hard to successfully change the rules in how companies can use those funds: Under new legislation, companies can now spend up to 40% of PPP loans on utilities.
- We have been working with Congress and the insurance industry on a solution to the problem that vehicles that are no longer in service cannot return their tags in 11 states where the state Department of Motor Vehicles is closed. The inability to return tags has meant that some companies have been unable to take their vehicles off their insurance. We still need help getting final resolution on this issue. We are essentially having to pay premiums for vehicles no longer in service. Several states have required insurance companies to refund premiums to drivers, but those do not cover our vehicles. We believe they should.
- Modifying Section 3719 of the CARES Act to allow NEMT operators to receive advance payments from Medicare and/or Medicaid.
- Requiring all government accounts with ground transportation companies to be paid within five days of billing.
- Requiring the General Services Administration to offer government surplus vehicles at cost to passenger ground transportation companies serving economically disadvantaged communities.
What You Can Do!
Support the Small Business Jump-start America Act
Join a coalition of small businesses and trade associations organized by TTA to ask the U.S. Congress to pass the Small Business Jump-start America Act. The bill would make long-term, low-interest loans available to small businesses that have strong track records of success, are critical to reopening the economy, and are best positioned to keep the supply chain moving. The plan would focus on critical sectors, such as manufacturers, resellers, defense-industrial base, healthcare, financial services, construction and transportation providers.
- Click here to learn more about the act.
- Click here to review the letter sent to Congress by the Support the Small Business Jump-start America Act Coalition.
Any business or association covered by this program is welcome to notify Al Lagasse, TTA's CEO, that you want to add your organization's name to the list of supporters. All we need is your written authorization and we will add your organization's name and home state to the list.
Help Get Transportation Companies Designated Essential by Your State
An increasing number of governors are enacting stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders or advisories. Eight of the first nine states to do so have explicitly declared transportation companies to be essential businesses (the ninth one is unclear as it fails to address transportation at all).
If your state has not yet declared transportation companies to be essential businesses, we urge you to send an email to your governor today based on this template that TTA has prepared for its members.
Please forward any response you receive from your governor's office to TTA.
What Else TTA Is Doing
Working With a Coalition to Get Transportation Designated Essential to the U.S. Economy
TTA has joined six other transportation associations in an unprecedented coalition working to ensure the passenger ground-transportation industry is designated a service that is essential to the U.S. economy. Such a designation by the federal government would ensure assistance designed to help our industry weather the COVID-19 crisis and continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable transportation.
The coalition sent a letter to the White House, and a similar one to Congress, requesting the designation and describing our industry's critical role in the economy and people's lives. To view the letter to the president, click here.
Other Top Issues
Click below for background information on key issues and to learn about The Transportation Alliance's positions.
- Ensuring Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services Are Protected Under Medicaid
- Requiring Fingerprinting & Drug Testing of Drivers in Federally Funded Contract Services
One of the ways TTA advocates on behalf of the industry is organizing a Legislative Fly-In. Each year, this highly anticipated event brings our operator members to Washington, D.C. to discuss critical issues with their U.S. representatives and senators. Our legislative team sets up the appointments, provides issue briefings and any issue papers that may be needed, and accompanies the members on their visits.