01 Apr Top 10 Questions About Charter Bus Rentals — Answered!
A charter bus can be a super fun way to travel. Booking can seem daunting at first, but it does not have to be. The process can be enjoyable and educational. If you don’t know much about charter buses and have never rented one before, you probably have several questions.
What Is a Charter Bus?
A charter bus is a reserved, private form of transportation for bringing a medium-to-large group of people on a trip. There are five major reasons people choose to travel on charter buses. They are convenience, safety, affordability, luxury, and reduction of negative impacts on the environment.
Convenience. You and the other passengers can be picked up from your chosen location and taken any place you want. Once at your destination, the charter bus provides transportation so that you don’t have to rent a car or take a taxi. You can let the driver take control of the wheel while you relax and enjoy the trip. You, your family, and friends can sit back and watch movies, play cards, or take in the scenery.
Safety. The US Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that traveling by bus is safer than traveling by car by 46 times and is 2 times safer than flying.
Affordability. Per passenger, traveling by a charter bus is comparable to the price of taking a train and costs significantly less than flying. Traveling via motorcoach affords you a luxurious and reasonably priced experience. It is the most cost-effective way to travel, per passenger.
Luxury. Charter bus rentals offer amenities that other ground travel does not. You’ll enjoy amenities such as individual lighting, climate controls, reclining seats, Wi-Fi, DVD players, power outlets, and plenty of legroom.
Environmental impact. The Department of Energy reports that there are significantly fewer emissions of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide released by motor coaches than passenger cars, trains, and airplanes. At just 186.2 passenger miles per gallon, traveling by bus is one of the most eco-friendly ways to go.
How Many People Fit in a Charter Bus?
Full-size charter buses typically fit 35-60 passengers. Mini-buses can fit 12-35.
How Safe Is a Charter Bus?
You can feel good about Los Angeles charter bus rentals. Charter companies have a reputation for cleanliness and safety. Amid the coronavirus, charter bus companies have stepped up their already stringent cleaning procedures even further to ensure passenger safety. Passengers can also help to reduce risks by following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control. Passenger safety is the number one goal of charter bus service providers. Never bring dangerous chemicals, explosives, weapons, or any flammable materials on a charter bus trip. Your charter coach service provider is happy to outline policies regarding contraband so ask specific questions to determine if a particular item is allowed. Charter bus companies also have strict no-smoking policies and smoking is not permitted.
The SAFER Company Snapshot is available on the Federal Motor Coach Safety Administration website. This will show the company’s rating and safety record as satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or conditional. Be sure that the carrier you choose has, at least, a satisfactory rating. This snapshot also shows you:
- A record of out of service incidents or violations,
- An accident record
- Verification of company insurance. Liability coverage of $5 million should exist for buses carrying 16 passengers or more.
Are Chartered Buses Safe From the Coronavirus?
Chartered buses offer an environment similar to a group quarantine. Rather than many people getting on and off the bus, this represents the same group of people throughout the entire trip. To ensure a safe trip, you can have your group of people tested or screened for signs of illness before you go. All surfaces can be cleaned prior to boarding and at every stop. When you work with a charter company, you can follow both CDC guidelines and ask for any extra screening and cleaning that you wish.
How Far Can a Charter Bus Trip Go and How Long Can the Trip Be?
Most charter bus rental companies have a license to travel anywhere in the US and Canada. This means you can travel pretty much anywhere you want in North America. If you schedule far enough in advance, you can usually charter the bus for however long you need to. It is important to note that drivers have ‘hours of service” regulations to comply with. These regulations are set forth by the Department of Transportation.
- The 10-hour rule dictates that an operator can drive no more than 10 hours following a minimum of 8 hours off duty.
- The 15-hour rule dictates that a driver must have a minimum of 8 hours off duty before performing any driving or non-driving tasks.
- The 70-hour rule dictates a 70-hour limit for time on-duty over eight days.
How Much Will It Cost to Rent the Charter Bus?
Prices for charter bus rental vary for several reasons. The size of the coach is one determining factor. A newer coach or one with more amenities could bring up the cost. Duration, distance, fuel prices, or time of year can all affect the price of renting a charter bus. Reputable charter companies offer free price quotes with no obligation.
How Soon Do You Need to Book in Advance?
Once you know the dates you want to travel you should go ahead and book your trip. Even companies that have large fleets can sell out in certain seasons. Experienced travel planners advise two to six months to set transportation plans.
Are Eating and Drinking Allowed on the Bus, Including Alcohol?
Most charter companies permit food and drink. This includes alcoholic drinks for adult passengers. Guidelines on food and drink are established by the chartering group. Passengers are expected to clean up behind themselves and use trash receptacles. Some companies require a refundable deposit if alcohol will be served on the bus. Also, any spills or trash left behind by your group will make you liable for cleaning fees. Most buses have a wastebasket at the front of the bus. However, it is a good idea to bring a trash bag just in case there isn’t one.
Are the Charter Buses Handicap Accessible?
Most companies have buses that are equipped with a wheelchair lift. Some buses also offer services for the hearing impaired. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires all charter bus companies to provide wheelchair-accessible buses when requested. Not every bus in a company’s fleet will be outfitted with wheelchair lifts. For this reason, be certain to make any needs for accessibility known at booking so that the appropriate vehicle is reserved for your group. ADA-accessible coaches have room inside for the passenger to ride safely. Charter buses generally don’t have beds, but do have comfortable cushioned reclining seats.
Should We Tip the Driver and If So, How Much ?
Gratuity is at the customer’s discretion but for those who would like to tip, 15-20 percent of the total booking fee or $1.00 to $2.00 per passenger is typical.
Knowing the fundamentals of the charter bus rental process will help you make an educated decision and feel confident about your trip. Before you call to request a quote, have a written list of important details on hand. This information will help the charter bus agent match you with the best coach for your trip out of Los Angeles.