Operations

Best Ways to Grow Into Big Bus Service

Posted on September 12, 2012 by Bob Crescenzo

Page 1 of 3

[Note to Readers: This article is based on an educational seminar held at the 2012 International LCT Show. Lancer Insurance is an advertiser and exhibitor with LCT].

Many successful limousine companies have provided limo buses, mid-sized coaches and, in some cases, full-sized motorcoaches to their clients for many years. Since the 2007-2008 economic downturn and the economic damage to corporate and luxury transportation, many other chauffeured transportation operators are adding diverse buses to their fleets. Although that is a clear strategy for some operators, most should do some careful research and planning before making the transition.

SIDEBAR ARTICLE: NY Operation Dots The Details On Bus Service & Safety

It’s a different business
The process for expanding your business should begin with a business plan that first identifies the type of service(s) you intend to deliver: shuttle, charter, tour, line run, school, transit and/or private. The service type should be based on a careful market study and assessment of the need in your area. Once that research is done and you have chosen the services you intend to provide, then you can select vehicle type, style and model. A vehicle designed to transport 16 passengers or more, including the driver, is technically a bus. As such, there are many requirements with which you must comply, regardless of whether you are operating intrastate or interstate. Be aware, even if you will be working in-state only, there are still federal mandates with which you must comply, including the need for drivers to have appropriate class CDL licenses with the passenger endorsement and for your company to establish a substance abuse testing program that meets Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements.

The second step in the process is to clearly evaluate how the vehicles will be used: either intrastate (operated in one state only) or interstate (crossing state lines or transporting customers who have moved across state lines during their travel). In most instances, opting for interstate authority will provide you with the most business flexibility, but it will require significant knowledge and compliance with state and federal regulations. This decision is perhaps the most critical because non-compliance will result in business interruption and possibly significant fines. The agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that oversees commercial vehicles transporting passengers (and cargo) is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Knowledge of FMCSA and your state regulations is critical to your success. The FMCSA website www.fmcsa.dot.gov provides a lot of information, directions and suggestions about compliance with federal regulations. Also, be aware that depending on the size and type of vehicle(s), you may need to obtain and comply with Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) and fuel tax reporting (IFTA) requirements.
Although this article focuses on the federal requirements, remember to register and comply with all applicable state and local requirements for your operating area as well.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Anti-Trump Protesters Block Uber Headquarters

The TNC's CEO Travis Kalanick is one of several technology executives who's part of the president's Strategic and Policy Forum.

Toronto Operator Emphasizes Occasions

WebXclusive: Ash Fadil works to provide experiences that will have his clients coming back for more than just one special event.

What Judges Look For In OOY Award Entries

Read up on what some contenders have already submitted in their running to become an Operator of the Year.

Atlanta Operator Supports Strength In Numbers

Chad Casey knows industry involvement is a must when discovering new affiliates.

Chauffeur Retention Made Easy: Show You Care

WEB-X-CLUSIVE: The key to happy employees is understanding what they mean to you and your business.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - January 2017 $12.95 THE MONEY ISSUE COVER STORY: * Dashboard Helps Steer Company Finances * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close