If cross-country speed is your only concern, America’s professional motorcoach operators admit you need to look elsewhere. But if you really want to SEE America; if you want to experience the excitement of its cities; feel the glory of its landscape; share the warmth of America’s communities, it can’t be done from 30,000 feet. You should be traveling by luxury motorcoach.
Top ten reasons why you should take a Motorcoach
- We do the driving. You’re free of the hassles of traffic, roadmaps, parking and backseat drivers. You’re finally free of distractions and responsibilities; free enough to enjoy the travel while a professional driver handles the wheel.
- Finally. YOU can see the sights. What good is it to drive through the scenic mountains and deserts and villages of the Nation if your entire field of view is a broken white line or the bumper ahead? In a motorcoach, your own panoramic window is a magic carpet.
- Sleep if you’d like. Today’s luxury motorcoach provides you with stylish and comfortable recliner seats. This is what luxury travel used to be like.
- Socialize with friends. If you’d rather visit with friends and fellow travelers, you can do it virtually any time you feel up to it. There’s no better way to meet new acquaintances or to enjoy the company of old friends than the adventure of travel together.
- Enjoy a movie. Can’t sleep? Not up to conversation? In most cases, you can now enjoy a full-length feature film or videos of your group’s own activities while you travel.
- Save money. There is no more economical way to travel. Period. You’ll be surprised to find that luxury doesn’t come at a high price on today’s motorcoach. In most cases, each traveler’s share of the cost of a professional motorcoach will be far less than other modes of public transportation and even less than private autos. (By the way, have you ever tried to coordinate the movements of 20 separate cars for a single trip? Do you want that headache again?)
- Door-to-door service. Your charter coach can go where you are and take you to where you want to be. There’s no substitute for the tremendous convenience of a motorcoach’s door-to-door service. Nor is there a substitute for the security and peace-of-mind which comes from that service. You don’t have to worry about dark parking lots in strange cities or shady characters on street corners.
- Consider the environment. Seeing America responsibly also means leaving the beauty intact for the next visitors. Today’s motorcoach has become both fuel efficient and environmentally-sound. On a per passenger basis, a modern motorcoach is among the cleanest modes of transportation in the world. That’s especially important when your group travels through America’s majestic National Park system.
- Safety…Safety…Safety… In the world of the professional motorcoach industry, there is nothing more important than safety. Accident statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, part of the USDOT) bear this out year after year. According to their records, you were 1,097 times more likely to experience a fatal accident in your own car during 1994 than aboard a motorcoach.
- You love to be surprised. Frankly, if your last trip by motorcoach was more than five years ago, you have a treat in store. This isn’t the bus you rode to grammar school or home from college. This isn’t the way you came back from visiting Aunt Agnes. Today’s European style motorcoach is a delight. And as America’s professionals, we’ll delight in surprising you with it.
Safety, quality and compliance with government regulations are three critical factors to consider selecting a motorcoach operator. A quality motorcoach operator is one that is reliable, professional, offers outstanding customer service, meets all rider needs and is affordable. The cheapest option is not necessarily the best option. Cutting corners on price often means cutting corners on safety.
Be An Informed Consumer When Choosing A Motorcoach Operator
- Motorcoach companies must have federal operating authority if they cross any state or provincial lines, and should be able to offer you proof of that authority, which is issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) or Transport Canada. Additionally, many states and provinces require that a carrier obtain operating authority for interstate operations.
- sk for proof of a valid, current insurance certificate that provides a U.S. minimum of $5 million in liability insurance coverage.
- Ask for the carrier’s U.S. DOT number. Carriers are required to have a U.S. DOT number clearly displayed, and should be either 5 or 6 digits long. By using that number, you can view the carrier’s safety information online.
- All U.S. based motorcoaches must be inspected annually. You can call the individual motorcoach company to inquire about inspection, bus maintenance and repair.
- All U.S. drivers are required to have a valid, current Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), with a “passenger” endorsement printed on the license itself. CDLs are only issued after drivers have demonstrated their abilities through on-road skills and a knowledge test.
- Long or quick-turn-around trips may require an extra driver to adhere to federal Hours of Service safety requirements.
- Make sure the company complies with FMCSA pre-trip passenger safety messaging requirements. Ask them if they show safety video.
- For scheduled intercity service from your town to points everywhere, research online and crosscheck your available choices.
- Ask the operator for recommendations on lodging, restaurants, destinations, and tourist attractions. Remember that motorcoach and tour company professionals deal with these companies daily. As “preferred customers,” they can often negotiate favorable group rates for you and even provide some extras.
- If you require it, check to make sure that the operator has bilingual drivers.
The Safe Choice
Motorcoaches are the safest form of surface transportation, according to government statistics. But one injury or fatality is one too many, which is why safety remains our top priority.
We support a holistic approach to enhancing safety, of which industry action is a critical part. Other critical components of safety enhancement include assertive government crackdowns on rogue operators by enforcing laws already on the books.
Vigorous enforcement of existing laws can yield quantifiable safety results today. We supports initiatives that help remove unsafe companies and drivers from the roads; that establish educational benchmarks for drivers; and that makes certain companies entering the industry are knowledgeable and abide by all regulatory requirements.
Other crucial steps to boost safety include enhanced operator safety oversight, more vehicle safety maintenance, and innovative new crash avoidance and occupant protection technologies.
For more information, log on to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s SAFER (Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System) site.
Keep in mind when booking a motorcoach trip, do not compromise safety to save a dollar.
All us motorcarriers are subject to legal hours of service regulations. Those differ between cargo carriers and passenger carriers and you should be aware of the passenger carrier regulations when booking a trip.
The regulations for passenger carriers are:
§395.5 Maximum driving time for passenger-carrying vehicles.
Subject to the exceptions and exemptions in §395.1: