Operations

What Should Customers Ask When Hiring A Bus Service?

Posted on September 27, 2013

SANDY SPRING, Md. — Frank Sherman, CEO of Horizon Coach Lines, the third largest motor coach operator in North America, has issued 10 tips to follow when deciding upon a charter bus company for an event, meeting or service.
The company provided the chartered transportation at the 2012 London Olympics and at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Palm Springs, Calif., and it is a leading provider of transportation for groups of all sizes.

Here are questions to ask when choosing a motor coach or bus company:

  1. What is the company’s safety record?  The U.S. Department of Transportation rating of “satisfactory” is the highest a company can receive.
  2. What type of equipment can we expect?  Be sure to ask about age, condition and size? Motor coaches typically seat 40 to 60 passengers, and they are subjected to driving time limitations. Check whether the driver can complete the trip within a normal workday (no more than 10 hours of driving and no driving after 15 on-duty hours). Relief drivers may need to be arranged to legally complete the trip. Motor coaches have restroom facilities onboard and are ideal for long trips. They also provide storage areas for luggage and equipment.
  3. Do you have current and proper licenses? Ask about all proper licenses for the equipment and driver.  Inquire about any local permits that might be needed (airport, toll roads, etc)
  4. Is your equipment clean? Cleanliness and hygienic conditions are very important when you have 50 passengers on a bus. Ensure that there is ample space for trash, the restrooms are in proper working order and there is appropriate equipment and tools to clean up any foreseeable messes.
  5. Are there additional amenities onboard? Not all buses offer the same amenities, so if you’re looking for something in particular, be sure you ask specifically.
  6. What is the driver’s background? Ask the company to provide information about the driver(s), including driver experience, proper licenses and training.
  7. References. Ask for professional references from past or present clients who have hired the company for similar types of events.
  8. What is your emergency plan? Each company should have a clear, concise and readily-known plan in the event of an emergency. Make sure that is available to you and you are comfortable with the way they’re handling it.
  9. What qualifies this company to be in business? Ask questions like “how long have you been in business?” or for more information about the executive of the company who make big decisions.
  10. What are your rates? Be sure to understand all of the costs associated with hiring this company. You don’t want an unexpected charge to arise that is outside your budget.

About Horizon Coach Lines
Horizon Coach Lines is a fully owned subsidiary of Transportation Management Services, the world’s leader in transportation consulting services. With offices in 16 locations, Horizon is now the third largest privately owned motorcoach company in North America. Among other services, Horizon provides ground transfers and cruise tours to all major cruise lines in various ports. We also offer contract services to Fortune 500 companies, public schools and universities, government agencies and military.

Related Topics: bus market, buses, charter and tour, charter and tour operators, customer service, motorcoaches, onboard amenities, Safety, vehicle safety

Comments ( 1 )
  • Karen

     | about 5 years ago

    Great article but what about proper insurance and interstate authority if crossing state lines?

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