Frequently Asked Questions
When considering “taking a bus” for an upcoming group trip, there are many unknown factors for the first time planner. Sometimes you may feel like you don’t know where to begin or even what questions to ask. Below are a few questions we hear frequently. Give us a call at (865) 694-0304 to discuss your specific needs.
At PREMIER TRANSPORTATION, we are in the charter business only, meaning we make reservations for our motorcoaches to be used by groups for trips to anywhere in the USA and Canada.
We do not offer packages or plan tours for groups, but we do specialize in serving as partners for group trips by providing the most dependable drivers, the latest model busses and the safest mode of transportation available.
In our book, Yes! This isn’t your granddad’s bus trip. PREMIER TRANSPORTATION’s fleet of late model Van Hool motorcoaches are comfortable, stylish, safe and offer the most state-of-the art amenities for passengers’ traveling pleasure.
Frankly, if your last trip by motorcoach was more than five years ago, you are in store for a treat. This isn’t anything like the bus you rode to grammar school or home from college. Today’s European style motorcoach is a delight and your group will turn heads arriving in a stylish PREMIER coach.
Smoking is not allowed on PREMIER motorcoaches.
The driver must always ensure every passenger onboard a PREMIER coach are safe at all times. We all like to have a good time, so please drink responsibly. The driver has the right to determine whether alcohol is allowed onboard and as with federal and state laws, no one under the age of 21 is allowed to consume alcohol.
Even if you have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), only certified PREMIER associates may drive our charter coaches. Thanks to PREMIER’s ongoing training and certification requirements our customers can rest assured PREMIER’S drivers and equipment are the safest on the road.
First, PREMIER Customer Service will send you a no-obligation, custom quote for the group trip based on the itinerary you provide. If the quote is acceptable, a signed contract, along with the deposit, confirms you are accepting the quoted price for the anticipated itinerary for the group trip.
There are many occasions when all of PREMIER’s fleet of motorcoaches are chartered, so be sure to confirm your reservation early. Only the signed contract and receipt of deposit will hold a bus for your dates.
Motorcoach travel provides a luxurious experience at a reasonable price for a group. Like many services, prices for chartering a motorcoach will vary based on the season’s demand. Additionally, the distance to your destination and driver’s hours are factors any charter motorcoach company must consider. At PREMIER we do our best to always fairly and competitively price group trips.
Customers often prefer to view the cost divided among all passengers or on a per person/per day basis, which calculates as the most economical, form of group transportation available. Motorcoach travel is the most cost effective way to go and far less than other modes of public transportation.
If you are apprehensive about the pricing or would like to understand more about the cost factors for PREMIER’s charter service do not hesitate to ask Customer Service.
Driver Gratuity is highly encouraged but is always at the discretion of the chartering group. It is customary for groups to tip the driver $1-$2 per passenger per day for good service, $3 – $5 per passenger per day for exceptional service. Tips are not included in the quoted trip price paid by your organization.
Yes, these fees are the responsibility of the chartering group. There are many areas where groups travel that charge for permits, tolls, and parking. Advance itinerary mapping and planning is suggested.
In high tourist travel areas, such as Washington, D.C., permits are required to drive a charter bus into the district as well as hourly fees for parking in required areas. According to your route, many of the best roads for traveling by bus charge rates based on the number of vehicle axles and the number of miles traveled per toll road. PREMIER charter drivers are familiar with the majority of these fees and policies, but the responsibility for payment is with the chartering party.
Finally, if you are planning your trip through a tour operator, these tolls and fees may already be included in their overall package pricing for the trip, but always check with your tour operator in advance.
Yes, for overnight trips, one room per driver must be provided by the group for each night’s stay. When booking a large group block of rooms many hotels will provide a complimentary room for the bus driver – just ask! Also don’t forget to ask if there is a place to park the motorcoach and if there is a parking fee. You don’t want to be surprised upon arrival!
Safety ratings for any motorcoach company should be given upon request. PREMIER’s safety rating can be viewed HERE.
A breakdown percentage informs you about how a company is taking care of their motorcoaches. If they do not know their breakdown percentage, or if it is high – then you are putting the safety of your group at risk. We take a great deal of time to train our mechanics. They attend classes provided by bus, engine, and air conditioning manufacturers and are certified in their fields. Our breakdown percentage is 0.342%. We take pride in this low percentage as well as our concentrated effort to consistently hire the best mechanics who continually manage and maintain the safety of our motorcoaches.
A full-time safety director is an essential part of ensuring all safety standards are met. Their job is to provide training to drivers as well as continual evaluation of routes, drivers, and any potential mechanical problems that may occur. They should constantly be tracking motorcoaches en route through a GPS monitoring system. The full-time safety director’s sole responsibility is the safety of the passengers and is not divided by other company responsibilities.
Resist the urge to consider charter bus travel as a commodity. It’s not enough to get you from one place to the next. You should never shop on price alone, and safety should be a top priority for you and other passengers. For a list of PREMIER safety features, check out our safety page HERE.
A certified driver training program demonstrates that a company places high value on the safety of their passengers by employing the best drivers that have been part of comprehensive training before they ever drive a motorcoach. Our drivers attend a certified driver training program as well as quarterly safety meetings and seminars, which cover rule changes, driving habits, and skills. All drivers selected by PREMIER go through a strict hiring process, which includes drug and alcohol testing, background check, and a driving knowledge and skills test. Applicants are interviewed and selected based on compatibility and skills.
Look and see where maintenance and operations is handled at the company you choose. Is it in a run down garage or outdoors? By touring the facility, you will learn whether maintenance and safety are a priority.