(L to R) John Meier, ABA board Vice Chairman and President of Badger Coaches Inc., Madison, WI; Tom JeBran, ABA board Chairman amd President of Trans-Bridge Lines, Bethlehem, PA; Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC-1); Charles “Buddy” Young, ABA board member and President of Capitol Bus Lines Inc., West Columbia, SC; and Peter Pantuso, President and CEO, American Bus Association, Washington, DC. The ABA hosted Rep. Sanford at a luncheon Monday at the Charleston Place Hotel.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The American Bus Association board of directors welcomed Rep. Mark Sanford, R-SC-1st District, for lunch and remarks at the Charleston Place Hotel on Sept. 23 during its annual fall meeting in Charleston, S.C.
In a wide-ranging, 30-minute discussion, the South Carolina Republican spoke about many of the issues and challenges in Washington, D.C., and his support for the motorcoach industry.
Sanford told the board that he was recently in New York and took an express bus service from Manhattan to Union Station in Washington, D.C. “I paid a $20 fare from New York to Washington, D.C., it was great. I had WiFi all the way, I did work, sent emails, was in contact with the office. I learned that bus companies provide an incredible value when compared to other modes of transportation,” Sanford said.
Sanford also supported putting motorcoach companies on a more-level playing field with other modes of transportation: “I am for free-market principles. I would like to work with ABA and its members. From a price point, you in the bus industry are incredibly competitive, and I would like to see more in terms of competition,” he said.
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC-1), who served as Governor of South Carolina from 2003-2011, is a strong supporter of the American motorcoach industry as well as a leading advocate for free market principles in the U.S. Congress.
In May 2013, Sanford was elected to Congress from South Carolina’s First Congressional District to a seat he had previously held from 1995-2001, before he was elected to two terms as the state’s 115th governor. He served as governor from 2003-2011.
“The ABA board is grateful that Congressman Sanford could talk with us concerning important issues in the motorcoach, transportation, and travel and tourism industry,” ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso said. “His comments were candid and constructive. I know the board members and guests were very pleased to have an open dialogue with him.”
According to the ABA Foundation, more than 25,000 people are employed in the motorcoach, travel and tourism industry in South Carolina. The industry generates more than $2 billion in annual wages and economic activity in the state.
The ABA board of directors represents all segments of the motorcoach, group travel and tourism industry. The chairman is Thomas JeBran, president of Trans-Bridge Lines, a motorcoach company based in Bethlehem, Pa. The American Bus Association, a trade organization of the intercity bus industry based in Washington, D.C., has more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the U.S. and Canada.