North Carolina Motorcoach Association was first incorporated in 1945 as the Short Line Bus Association. In 1950, the Association amended its charter to change its name to the North Carolina Bus Association and to expand its membership to include vendors and other closely related industries. The charter was amended in 1996 to change to its current name in an effort to more clearly define its membership as tour and charter operators and those who provide supplies and services for motorcoach operation.
In 65 years the Association has grown from a small group of concerned operators to an active, influential, professional organization. NCMA is one of the best organized and most persuasive transportation groups in the state and is recognized nationally as one of the most successful state motorcoach associations. The Association provides vendors and operators in the motorcoach industry an essential tool for coping with the political and economic issues which are society must face in dealing with energy and transportation problems.
NCMA has been active legislatively from the early beginnings. Within a short time lobbying efforts resulted in reducing the state franchise tax by 50% and securing a gasoline tax refund for NC operators. During the 1960’s and 1970’s “school bus bills” were defeated in the General Assembly which would have greatly affected the quality of service and safety to the traveling public. In the 1980’s The Bus Regulatory Reform Act was adopted by the General Assembly to follow federal legislation resulting in some deregulation of the intercity and charter bus operations, liability insurance rates were reduced, and the creation of intercity transit authorities was restricted through efforts by NCMA. The 1990’s was a time of dealing with unfair competition, transit authorities and again, franchise tax. NCMA was success in the passage of legislation prohibiting the use of publicly funded transportation to compete with private enterprise–NCMA members and other motorcoach operators. Through efforts of NCMA, the Federal Transit Administration is more aware of NCMA members and that violations of FTA rules and regulations by transit authorities will be taken seriously.
The transportation industry has, like every other phase of American business, become a very complicated industry. Individual companies can no longer operate in an environment they alone can control. Widespread changes in the services required by the traveling public, how or whom will provide these services and how they will be financed have been witnessed. Tourism and public transit have become major factors in today’s way of life. The motorcoach industry is still the most practical, economical and safe means of moving people in America.
It is imperative that NCMA take an active part in molding future transportation along with state, regional and national agencies. It must be a cooperative effort working together for common goals to solve tomorrow’s transportation needs and problems.