Picking the Perfect Charter Bus Company

Bus companies

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably seen the news updates that gas prices are going down, and that travelling on the road (as opposed to a plane or train) is more affordable than ever — and just in time for the fall and winter seasons. Many people are already looking for affordable ways to travel during the holidays (whether to visit family or to get away from them — either reason works), and travelling by coach bus is quickly becoming one of the cheapest, safest, and most convenient ways to travel.

Maybe you haven’t been convinced yet that charter buses are definitely worth the price, but maybe you’re already planning on travelling by bus in the near future, and now you just have to figure out which company you want to take. Luckily for you, there are a few ways to tell if you’ve found a good charter bus service:

1. Bus companies have various ways of charging for transportation: some charge by mileage, some charge by hours on the road, and some charge a flat-rate fee (just to name a few). A trustworthy charter bus service will explain ticket pricing, as well as any additional fees, and some companies even offer travel insurance (in case you change your mind at the last minute). It’s always a good idea to do some background research and find out how various companies calculate prices, and if one method ends up being cheaper than the others.

2. If you’ve got a bit of a green thumb, you’ll want to keep an eye out for companies that use energy-efficient buses. As it is, buses tend to get better gas mileage than other forms of transport: charter buses get around 206 passenger miles/gallon; commuter rail trains have about 92 passenger miles/gallon; domestic airplanes have about 44 passenger miles/gallon, and individual cars average about 27 miles/gallon. If you’re looking for a little more environmental friendliness though, not to worry — many bus companies are using new hybrid-electric buses or buses that run on natural gas and/or bio-diesel.

3. Coach bus companies are like any other business and they have profiles with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you don’t think you’re getting completely unbiased and honest reviews of bus companies, you can easily check with the BBB to see if the companies have any pending complaints. Keep in mind, however, that a couple negative complaints are to be expected, just like with any business, and that a bus company can still be excellent even if it can’t please every customer all the time.

It’s really pretty straightforward, once you get the hang of it! But now it’s your turn — do you agree with this list, or have we left something out? What do you think is the defining characteristic of a good bus company? Be sure to let us know in the comments section!

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