Issues Affecting Georgia Motorcoach Industry
September 8, 2014
Dear Candidate for Governor:
The Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association (GMOA), represents over 200 Georgia motorcoach operators, tourist attractions, theaters, restaurants, hotels, motorcoach sales, service, and products, and other supporting vendors in Georgia. Working together, we represent a multi-billion dollar economic impact for Georgia. On behalf of GMOA, I wish you well in your campaign for Governor in this election year.
GMOA values its relationship with state and local officials, and always stands ready to promote the travel and tourism in our state. Should you be elected, we look forward to working with you in your capacity as Governor.
Would you please respond to the enclosed list of questions by October 1. The questions and response will be posted on the association website,www.gamotorcoachoperators.org, in time for our members and their friends and family to weigh all the candidates’ positions on issues of importance to the motorcoach industry. Please respond to the address above and feel free to contact me or our Legislative Liaison, John Keys if you have questions or need clarification regarding the questions.
Again, best wishes to you in your campaign for Governor of Georgia!
GMOA President and
Owner, Daniel’s Charters and Tours (Gainesville)
cc: John Keys (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association
Questions to Candidates for Georgia Governor, 2014 Election
- Public-Private Partnering with state agency transportation providers. GMOA supports public-private transportation partnerships created to deliver transit and transportation service in both rural and urban areas of Georgia.
Many other states use these partnerships, which benefit their taxpayers, their state and communities’ economies, and most importantly, their citizens.
- As Governor, would you seek to involve Georgia’s private bus and motorcoach transportation providers to work in partnership with public agencies to deliver transit service within Georgia’s urban and rural areas?
- If so, what steps would you take to achieve this goal –at both the state and local levels?
- Would you initiate outreach efforts through the Department of Administrative Services and other state agencies to inform small (and large) transportation businesses on how to do business with state agencies in Georgia?
- Do you support more involvement by minority-owned transportation companies to provide services under public-private transportation partnerships, and if so, what would you do to make this happen in Georgia’s state and local government?
- Existing Federally-funded Transportation programs in Georgia. Like all other states, Georgia provides funding support to local communities for local transportation needs. Grants are made annually to all states through federal grants on a formula basis, and go to the state for assistance to its communities to meet a variety of transportation needs.
For example, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds the s. 5310 and s. 5311 programs for private bus operators to provide long-distance, point-to-point transportation service from city to city, and to meet primarily rural-based human services transportation needs.
These programs help keep transportation service available throughout rural Georgia, allowing rural residents (and visitors) especially – and connecting rural and urban Georgia without travelers having to use a personal vehicle, providing another transportation option to their residents, all without the need to establish a government bureaucracy to own and operate buses and motorcoaches.
- Do you support these programs, and what steps would you take to involve more private sector company participation in them?
- In general, do you see any need for legislation to promote and advance more widespread use of private sector participants in helping deliver transportation throughout the state?
- Would you support involving the private motorcoach industry in planning for meeting the needs of rural and intercity Georgia travelers through these programs, and how specifically would you do this?
- A multi-modal passenger terminal (MMPT) center has been discussed for downtown Atlanta (and elsewhere in Georgia) for years.
- What role do you see for state government to assist in building this center, and in other multi-modal centers planned or operated around our state?
- What will you do to ensure that private sector transportation providers, ranging from motorcoaches to taxicabs, have a seat at the table in the planning and design of these centers?
- What role do you see for organizations such as GMOA to work with public transportation entities to plan for similar facilities in Georgia, and what will you do to achieve your goals in this subject area?
- Private sector charter bus service becomes a friction point when public transit entities (which receive operating subsidy from federal, state and local governments) operate charter bus service to increase their revenues. When this occurs, private charter businesses are denied business opportunity in providing charter bus trips.
- Would you support a requirement (through Executive Order or legislation) that state and local public transportation agencies not operate charter bus service in competition with private sector companies, so that private sector operators who provide charter service can do so without unfair competition from publicly-subsidized transit systems?
- What administrative mechanisms would you seek to ensure compliance with such a requirement (and in which specific agencies of state and local government)? As an example, would you support withholding state aid to non-complying public sector transit providers when they engage in this behavior?
- Emergency Driving conditions in early 2014 caused major disruptions to traffic, and potential danger to lives of Georgians and other motorists traveling through the state.
As a result, legislation was passed imposing sanctions on commercial vehicles not using chains or other traction devices when properly notified when these conditions arise.
- What role does the state play in these situations, and what will you do as Governor to make sure that state and local governments work together when they arise?
- What will you do to involve the motorcoach and trucking industries in planning with state and local governments for future situations such as occurred in early 2014?
- Early notice to the public and affected businesses of emergency situations is essential, and should such notice be a required element prior to penalties being levied on commercial vehicles?
- Will you make periodic reports to Georgians of progress in this area to ensure they don’t happen again?
For Immediate Release June 13, 2014