What is the most important part of picking a company to work with when it comes to transportation providers? Is it price, is it equipment, is it drivers? The answer may not be as simple as you may think.
Companies should always be happy to talk about what they do to keep you and your other passengers safe. This includes being willing to share insurance coverage limits, what their maintenance programs are like, the age and condition of their coaches, their drivers’ experience and training levels, and the like. Shy away from any company that just wants your money and isnot willing to discuss how they will keep you safe.
Check the FMCSA Safer system. The regulatory agency that oversees the safe operation of commercial vehicles in the USA has a system where you can see a lot of important data about the companies you are shopping. Ask for a DOT number and use that to search. This will make it easier to find the right provider as there are a lot of companies with similar names. The FMCSA can tell you if the transportation company you are considering has the highest available rating of SATISFACTORY. It will also show you other interesting information, such as the number of buses they operate and how many commercial drivers they employ. You can also see recent inspection results and how they stack up against the national averages.
Only pay money to companies who have equipment to deliver the service you need. The number one complaint in the transportation world, from buses to town cars, is when people pay companies they find on the web who present as if they offer a service, but who are really brokers. Brokers take your money and then they try to find a company to deliver the service. This practice results in a lot of problems including: canceled service, lost money, and higher prices. Remember that brokers make money on the difference between what they charge you and the price they pay for the service. Their motivation may not be your safety, comfort, or even to ensure that your trip is the best it can be.
Make sure that the quote you requested is the quote that you get. While this may seem simple, we see a lot of people who have issues with this. There are a number of things to keep in mind when you send a quote to an operator. Where you want to go, how many people will be going, the destination, and even the company you requested the quote from are things that should be double checked before you sign a deal. Things that may seem small to you, like a few added people that takes your party from 45 to 47 can derail a move if the piece of equipment the company dispatches only holds 45. We also see that there are times where a person is shopping for service from a certain company and they send a quote request based on their research. When the quote comes back they do not notice that the quote is from a “partner” company and that what they thought they were buying may be totally different. Quick checks to ensure that you are working with the company you want, that the details are what you want them to be, and that the dates all line up, can be the difference between a smooth trip and a stressful situation.
Choose service over price whenever possible. There are a lot of things where choosing the lowest cost provider may be a good idea, then there are things where picking something just because it is the cheapest is not such a great plan. For example, 50% off day-old sushi, $25 eye laser surgery, and booking transportation! Transportation is nota commodity and every company is different. Some offer newer buses, better service, more friendly or trained drivers, onboard amenities like wifi and even the ability to watch movies on your own device just like the airlines. As you can imagine, others may not deliver the service, equipment, or even experience, you want. While price will inevitably be an important part in your shopping experience, choose the company that fits your needs best and you will ensure a better experience.