Are you thinking about renting a charter bus soon? In this article, we answer some of the questions that you probably have, and some you didn’t even know you needed answers to! Let’s get right into it.
What Exactly is A Charter Bus?
Perhaps you’ve planned a group trip and you’re now wondering how you’re going to get everyone to the trip destination in one go. Charter buses are vehicles that you can reserve for the private use of a particular group. Instead of having to stick to a particular bus route, a charter bus gives you the luxury of traveling as a group directly to your destination.
In huge cities such as Atlanta, Washington DC or Los Angeles, charter bus services make group traveling much easier and convenient.
Why Should I Hire A Charter Bus?
Still not convinced that a charter bus is the best option for your group trip? Here are several reasons why you should definitely give it a try:
Convenience- this is the greatest advantage of a charter bus. You and your group of friends get to be picked up at your chosen pick up point, driven to your destination, and driven back to your chosen drop off point. All you need to do is show up and have a good time!
Comfort- charter buses provide luxuries that you probably won’t find with any other ground travel. What with reclining seats, WiFi, sufficient legroom, and charging ports.
Affordability- being that the total price of hiring the bus is split per passenger, the cost of traveling in a charter bus is extremely affordable compared to other modes of transport such as air travel. The comfort provided is definitely an added bonus once you consider the price.
Safety- according to the US Department of Transportation Bureau of Transport Statistics, traveling by bus is 46 times safer than traveling by car and 2 times safer than flying. You may also get a SAFER Company Snapshot of the charter bus company on the Federal Motor Coach Safety Administration Website. The snapshot will provide you the company’s rating and safety records as well as an accident record and a record of out-of-service violations.
Do Charter Buses Provide Protection From Coronavirus?
Given that we are smack in the middle of a pandemic, we are all keen on where we go and the services that we use in a bid to keep safe. A charter bus provides you with an environment that nearly mirrors that of a group quarantine. As opposed to a shuttle bus where many different people get on and off the bus, a charter bus carries the same group of people throughout the entire trip.
To further ensure the safety of the trip, you may consider getting screened for the virus prior to the trip. Due to the pandemic, charter bus companies have also stepped up their already strict cleaning procedures to ensure all passengers get maximum protection from the virus.
How Much Does Renting The Charter Bus Cost?
The cost of a charter bus rental may vary due to various reasons such as:
- The duration of the trip- one-day trips may be charged using an hourly rate while longer trips are probably charged per day.
- The season of travel- you may expect higher prices during peak seasons such as the summer.
- The size of the coach- the smaller mini buses are often quite cheaper than full-size charter buses.
- The city of pick up and drop off- charter buses are easier to come by in major cities such as Washington Dc or Chicago. It might be harder to source one in smaller cities such as Boston due to limited areas as well as narrow roads.
How Far Can My Trip Be?
You really don’t have to worry about the distance of your trip, most charter bus rental companies have obtained licenses to travel just about anywhere in the United States and Canada. However, it is important to note that the drivers have to comply with ‘hours of service’ regulations set by the Department of Transportation. The regulations are as follows:
10-hour rule- a driver should not drive more than 10 hours following a minimum of 8 hours off duty. 15-hour rule- a driver must have a minimum of 8 hours off duty before performing any driving or non-driving tasks. 70-hour rule- the driving hour limit within eight days is 70 hours.
Do Charter Buses Permit Food And Drinks?
You’re allowed to carry your food and drink on a charter bus. Adults are also allowed to take alcohol inside the bus. It however goes without saying that it is expected of you to dispose of any waste in the trash cans provided. Spills and stains may also attract a higher cleaning fee with some companies.
Are Charter Buses Handicap Accessible?
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires charter bus companies to provide wheel-chair accessible buses on request. Because not every bus in a company’s fleet will be fitted with wheelchair lifts, it is important to let the company know that you require one while you’re booking to ensure that it is reserved for your group.
When Should I Book My Charter Bus Trip?
It is highly recommended that you book your trip at least one to three months in advance. For peak seasons such as April, May, June, and July, you may want to consider booking even six months in advance. You may also want to consider scheduling your trip for the off-season months as it is relatively cheaper to book a bus then.
Do Charter Buses Have Washrooms?
We all want to be comfortable on the trip, right? Charter buses provide a standard washroom and handwashing area. However, since it may be uncomfortable to use the washroom when the bus is on the move, encourage your group to take advantage of washrooms at stopovers such as fuel stations.
Which Charter Bus Company Should I Hire?
Select your charter bus company of choice based on your budget, location, and size of the group you will be traveling in. Now that you know the fundamentals of using a charter bus, we are sure you will be able to make an informed and confident decision.