How Safe are Charter Buses?
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First, the good news. Charter buses are one of the safest modes of transportation available, safer than car or air travel. Booking a charter bus for your next corporate outing or social event is the best way to ensure they arrive safely and comfortably.
Now for the bad news: unfortunately, some charter bus companies cut corners when it comes to safety. In this article, we’ll explain what makes charter buses so safe, what risk factors are involved in chartering a bus, and what makes Metropolitan Shuttle different.
Charter Bus Safety
So what makes charter buses so safe compared to other forms of transportation?
- Charter bus drivers are professional drivers, required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). They must also pass physical and health requirements.
- Any transportation company that crosses state lines must meet specific insurance requirements and verification from the Department of Transportation
- By law, charter bus drivers can only drive a certain number of miles or hours per day, to avoid driver fatigue and reduce the possibility of accidents.
- Buses must be inspected once yearly to ensure they meet federal regulations on driver qualifications and hours of service.
- Traveling by charter bus has a much better safety record than either automobile or air travel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, buses account for 0.1% of total yearly road fatalities.
With so many federal regulations and rules governing the operation of charter buses, you might think one bus company is as good as the next. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. Unscrupulous operators can skimp on insurance, hire drivers with improper qualifications, or keep unfit buses in operation in violation of the law. The Department of Transportation is not swift in putting these companies out of business despite existing violations, which means an unscrupulous company can continue to carry passengers in unsafe conditions.
However, the DOT does assign ratings for buses, and these ratings are not generally available to the public. Many customers would probably not consider putting their passengers on a bus that had an “Unsatisfactory” or “Conditional” rating from the DOT — but they might not know that rating even exists.
That’s where Metropolitan Shuttle comes in.
What We Do
Our company is committed to passenger safety. That’s why we take a number of steps to help mitigate the risk factors involved in charter bus travel.
- Metropolitan Shuttle performs DOT verification for its clients, instead of taking the operator’s word for it and hoping for the best. Customers of Metropolitan Shuttle can be sure the buses in question have received an acceptable safety rating from the Department of Transportation.
- Charter bus companies are required to carry commercial insurance coverage for at least $5 million per occurrence, as well as comprehensive liability of $5 million for bodily injury and property damage.
- Metropolitan Shuttle has no vested interest in selling the public particular buses. We objectively evaluate reports and guide the public to operators without negative safety ratings.
- Rather than passing due diligence on to the customer, we take the time and effort to navigate the FMSCA web site and perform thorough, professional vetting of operators before making a recommendation. This service is included in the bulk purchase savings, which is passed on to the client, saving them both time and money.
Don’t trust the safety of your clients, employees or loved ones to just any bus operator. Contact Metropolitan Shuttle to book a charter bus, and let us put your mind at ease.
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