SALEM, Ohio — As group travel continues to grow, a younger segment of the population is discovering the value of traveling with friends and family on organized trips. Aboard today’s motorcoaches, they find amenities like free Wi-Fi, bring-your-own-device on-board entertainment and first-class seating. As travel planners embrace these and other changes to motorcoach travel, they are finding new and younger members.
For millennials and boomers alike, motorcoach travel can be an economical option. The number of passenger miles per gallon of gas makes it a greener way to travel. It also allows travelers to avoid airport security hassles and enjoy the scenery rather than fight traffic. And, it allows travelers to get to know their fellow travelers.
Most importantly, motorcoaches are among the safest modes of transportation. Most motorcoach operators take pride in safety, but it is the travel planner’s responsibility to ensure the transportation company they choose is safe and reliable. Fortunately, there are easy ways for planners to check out companies before they sign a contract and take a group on tour. Before you choose a bus company, you’ll want to know that:
• It’s authorized to operate. All commercial bus operators that carry passengers across state lines must have a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number and be authorized to operate by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
• It regularly inspects, maintains and repairs its fleet for safety. Every company should perform regular inspections of all its buses, complete required maintenance and repairs and ensure that all safety equipment is present and working properly.
• It hires well qualified, properly licensed drivers. All its drivers should have good safety records, be medically fit to drive and obey all safety laws and regulations.
Fortunately, tour planners can research any bus company by downloading the convenient SaferBus mobile app at fmcsa.dot.gov/lookbeforeyoubook.
FMCSA is charged with maintaining safe operating conditions for all interstate motorcoach companies in the U.S. Its outreach includes many group travel association gatherings, including those of the Group Travel Family of Brands. There are sessions on motorcoach transportation safety at all our travel conferences: Select Traveler Conference, Boomers In Groups, African American Travel Conference, Going On Faith Conference and Small Market Meetings Conference. To learn more visit grouptravelfamily.com or call 800-628-0993.