Article: School Transportation News January 2007


Information Sought on School Bus Private Charter Services in Effort to Curb Price Gouging

SPRING LAKE, Mich. (Jan. 18, 2007) — BusRates.com, a consumer advocate directory and guide with more than 450 member companies nationwide, reports that 10.7 percent of its approximately 57,000 Web site visitors each month are searching specifically for school bus providers, but there is a shortage of school bus companies willing to post fleet information for the general public.

It also determined that national broker firms are charging $60 to $70 per hour for school bus charters that go for $45 per hour.

BusRates.com seeks fleet information from school bus companies that offer private group charters within the United States and Canada to step forward. The site’s purpose since going live in November of 2004 has been to create awareness among Internet customers of the going rates for chartering a school bus among several high-priced broker options, but there is a shortage of school bus operator members willing to post fleet information and or even voluntary price information. Most of the site’s members are motorcoach service providers. The site fails to delineate between types of school buses or even motorcoaches but instead serves to put interested parties in contact with potential providers.

“We feel that brokers are exploiting the fact that customers do not know what the going rate for chartering a school bus is, and that it is difficult for customers to find companies that offer private charters,” said Mark Greer, the site’s chairman. “Our goal is to help make customers aware of going rates as well as make willing providers easy to find. Most school bus companies only handle school district work or have contracted all of their buses and have no availability to take on more work which makes it very difficult for customers to find companies for hire.”

For more information, call 312-235-6378 or e-mail mark.greer@busrates.com with general fleet info.