Charter buses are a safe, reliable, economical way to meet your transportation needs. Metropolitan Shuttle offers transportation solutions for employee parties, corporate retreats, homecoming celebrations, and more.
Want to know more about bus rental prices? Here are just some of the vehicles in our fleet. These bus charter prices are only averages; charter bus pricing varies by vehicle, availability, and area.
That big corporate retreat or planned event approaches, and you need a way to move a lot of people around economically. A charter bus looks like an appealing choice, especially when you consider the long security lines and high prices of airline tickets. But how much will renting a charter bus really cost you? Do you pay by the mile or by the hour? Are there hidden costs?
The short answer: “it depends.” The one thing you should remember when considering a charter bus is: the longer the trip, the more money you’ll save. Read on to find out why.
Charters that involve transporting groups around a metropolitan area — or within a radius of about fifty miles — usually charge by the hour. Many charter buses require a minimum rental time of four or five hours. In addition, there’s what’s called “garage time,” the time required for the bus to get from the yard to the pickup point. This is included in the rental fee.
For example, a four-hour rental of a 55-passenger charter bus runs $125 per hour. The total cost would be $625 ($500 for four hours, plus $125 for the garage time). Additional hours are $125 each, and partial hours are billed as whole hours.
This might seem expensive, until you compare it with the cost of your average taxi fare. An average cab ride in the city costs $45 an hour for one passenger, not including a tip for the driver. By comparison, a charter bus costs $2 per passenger for 55 people. Quite a difference!
If you have a mid-sized group and are looking to save money on a shorter journey, such as a field trip or corporate event, consider renting a school bus or a minibus. They aren’t suitable for every occasion, but the rental will cost will be less than the price of renting a coach bus.
Moving large numbers of people out of state is where charter buses really shine in terms of savings. Interstate charter buses charge by the mile instead of the hour.
As with local area charters, there are additional costs involved which bear explaining. After dropping off the passengers at their destination, the now-empty bus must return to the garage. This costs time and fuel, but without passengers, the bus isn’t producing any revenue for the company. This is what’s known in the industry as “deadhead” mileage. To stay profitable, bus companies include a charge for deadhead miles in the price of the trip. This is usually about a dollar less than the per-mile rate.
A typical 55-passenger bus charges $3.50 to $4.00 per mile. So a trip from Phoenix to San Francisco to Phoenix — that’s 745 miles — might run you around $2,607, plus a deadhead rate of $1,862, for a grand total of $4,470.
Again, charter bus costs might seem high, but only until you consider the per-seat rate. Divided amongst 55 passengers, that comes to $81 per seat. At the time of this writing, flying a single person from San Francisco to Phoenix costs about $247. Compared to flying, renting a charter bus saves $166 per person. That’s $9,100 for a group of 55! You could use those savings to bring your outing in under budget… or add some serious perks to the trip.
Booking a charter bus isn’t like buying airline tickets or renting a car. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
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