June 16, 2016

Chartering a Bus for the First Time: What You Need to Know


A charter bus is one of the safest, most reliable, and most economical ways to travel. But booking a charter bus might seem intimidating. What kind of buses are available? What are the rates? Will someone be available to answer my questions after departure? Metropolitan Shuttle has the answers to all those questions, and more. Here’s everything you need to know to get started booking a charter bus.

The Process

Booking a charter bus is easier than you might think. The staff at Metropolitan Shuttle will help walk you through every step of the process.

  1. Quote: Your first step in chartering a bus will be getting a quote from Metropolitan Shuttle. You can request a quote online via our website, or over the phone.
  2. Contract: Once all points have been negotiated, a contract is signed. A refundable down payment is required when negotiations are complete.
  3. Trip Confirmation: The buses are secured
  4. Payment: The full payment for your trip is due thirty days before departure.
  5. Trip and driver details will be sent to you approximately twenty-four hours before you are due to depart.


Have you looked into chartering a bus in the past, only to experience “sticker shock”? Metropolitan Shuttle will help you break down the quote and understand where your money is going. Here are the basics of chartering a bus:
A local area charter (that is, a trip within a metropolitan area) charges hourly, usually around $125-$150 per hour. “Garage time,” or the time required to get the bus from garage to departure point and back, is included in this cost. Most charter bus companies require a minimum of four to five hours.

Interstate charters charge by the mile, usually $3 or $4 per mile. A “deadhead rate,” which accounts for the return trip of the empty bus, is added to this charge. When broken down by seat, a charter bus will run you much significantly less than airfare, and probably much less than taxi or Uber service, provided you fill most of the seats in the bus. We’ll always help you to find you the most suitable vehicle for your trip. Please refer to our article “How much does it cost to charter a bus” for more in-depth information.

Payment Terms and Options

Metropolitan Shuttle accepts credit cards, checks, and money orders. Customers using a credit card will see a small processing charge will be added to the bill.
As stated above, Metropolitan Shuttle requires full payment in advance, thirty days before departure.


A charter bus is one of the safest ways you can travel — twice as safe as traveling by plane, and almost fifty times safer than by car.

There are legal limits to how long a driver can drive per day. By law, a bus driver can only travel 600 miles or 10 hours (whichever comes first) before requiring a relief driver. This is done for the safety of all passengers.
Some companies in the charter bus industry engage in unscrupulous practices. They sometimes neglect the maintenance of vehicles, neglect to carry insurance, or fail to attend to the safety needs of drivers.
Metropolitan Shuttle prides itself on its reputation as the most trusted charter bus brand in North America. We check the federal FMCSA safety records to help ensure the safety of our passengers and bring peace of mind to your next trip.


Support from Metropolitan Shuttle doesn’t end when you sign the contract and pay for your trip. Someone will be available for support or questions at any time, from the moment of booking until the last passenger has left the bus.

Still have questions about chartering a bus? Call us at 1-866-556-3545 or request a free quote today.

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