Are you planning to hire a charter bus, but you are not sure about how to go about it? It is understandable — after all, there are a lot of companies to choose from and each one has a variety of bus and trip options.
Fortunately, you can narrow it down quickly by asking the right questions and thinking carefully about what type of transport services are best for your specific trip. Here are some important things to look for and ask about before you commit to renting a charter bus:
What is the Reliability and Safety Record of the Company?
You can do online research with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints or concerns about the company. Look for customer reviews to find out if others have had good experiences with the company.
Canada does not have a specific national passenger carrier database the way the U.S. does, but you can check the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) listing if the bus company also operates in the United States.
What Types of Buses Are Available?
Bus companies in Toronto will have a variety of buses available for groups of 10 to as many as 56 people. Each bus size will have different pricing and amenities.
Be sure to ask for the type of bus that makes the most sense for the size of your group and the purpose of the trip. A bachelorette party will have very different needs than a corporate team building group!
Once you get the details on the bus options at a particular company, you can call around and compare prices and offerings among different operators.
What is Included in the Price?
Before you go too far into comparing companies, be sure that you are getting accurate prices. A company may have a lower price, but they do not include tolls, cleaning, or gas in the quote. You do not want to have any surprises when you get the final bill!
Some buses also offer drinks and snacks for longer trips or sightseeing — check into it to see if you can make the bus ride even more comfortable for your travel group.
What are the Driving Limitations?
Bus drivers are only human and can only drive for aspecific number of hours a day. If you are planning a long trip or traveling to a different province, be sure you account for this in your itinerary.
Some bus companies have planning departments that can put together a schedule and route for you. If a company offers this, take advantage of it — it can save you a lot of time and energy and give you a chance to focus on other parts of the event.
What Happens if the Bus Breaks Down?
Every bus company should have an emergency plan for breakdowns, accidents, and other unfortunate events. Make sure that your group is aware of what will happen in those cases so they can cooperate and stay safe.
Sometimes the company will send another bus to take over the trip, but it can take quite some time. Other companies may have a cooperative agreement with other bus businesses to provide emergency coverage. Be sure you know what to expect.
Do Not Make Assumptions
The worst thing you can do when renting a charter bus is to make assumptions about what they offer. You can end up angry and disappointed. Ask specifically about onboard restrooms, charging stations, Wi-Fi, and other details.
You do not want to assume that movies will be available to keep the kids on your field trip busy only to discover that you’re facing a four-hour drive with no entertainment!
Asking the right questions and being aware of the pricing, amenities, safety details, and emergency processes will ensure that you and your group have a safe and enjoyable bus trip.