Tour Bus Safety Considerations
by The Coach Team
The difference between tour bus companies – and why you should care!
Most folks who charter a bus only know that they want to get from point A to B and back. Very few of them realize that there is a tremendous difference in the quality and safety of the bus company who transports their loved ones and friends.
Are You Planning to Charter a Bus? First Do Some Research:
The federal government (as well as some states) rate bus companies on safety. It’s easy to find how the bus company is doing, just go to this website: SAFERSYS.ORG
- go to the center of the screen scroll down and click on COMPANY SNAPSHOT
- Once there select the search criteria you want to use, in our case by name COACH TOURS LTD, our name will come up.
- Click on the name and watch the company statics appear.
Once you have inspected the company statics you can also look at several other safety reports.
- Scroll up on the screen you have open and on the upper right will be a box with “SMS results”
- click there and you will get more info and a graphic that looks like a speedometer.
The lower the number on the speedometer the SAFER the company operation has been rated by the FEDs.
If you want to see how the company you are considering rates in New York State you can check it out at DOT.NY.GOV
- click on safety,
- then scroll down to Bus Safety Network (BUSNET)
- click there and scroll to Carrier Profile for the latest year.
These results are alphabetical so you can click down to Coach Tours (or any company with a New York address) and see their “OUT OF SERVICE PERCENTAGE” anything below 10% is considered a good rating.
Charter Bus Inspections
Some charter bus companies would not welcome an inspection of their maintenance facility. That is a clear red flag regarding how reputable their operation is. A good company welcomes the scrutiny of the regulations and bus inspections – because they have their equipment functioning at the top safety level, their facility reflects that, and they are diligent about their customers safety.
Another consideration is the manner in which they answer the phone. If the phone is answered with the company name you can be pretty sure that they only operate under one name. If however, they answer “BUS COMPANY” you might want to check out the address to see how many names they actually operate under. More than one name is a warning sign.
If you go to the company and find several buses with different state license plates parked there you might want to pass them by, this usually means that one or more states in the Tri State area failed to pass the bus when it was inspected. That is a major concern. In our tri-state area, buses with Pennsylvania plates that operate outside of that state generally indicate that they have lost their operating privilege in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey which have stricter standards. Look on the windshield of the bus and see if it has a nationally approved “Diamond” shaped inspection sticker that is current. All properly licensed Buses in the U.S. also have a USDOT number on each side and the city and state where they are registered. Ask if they are an approved Military Carrier and also if they carry Professional Sports teams, these companies generally carry more insurance and have good safety and reliability ratings. If all else fails and you still aren’t sure if you’ve made the right choice – ask for a list of references, and then give them a call.
Remember, you want a reliable, safe company – not one who just says they are.
If this bus safety information was helpful, please comment on this blog post – and tell me what you think.