Determine your group`s special needs
Examples of this might be equipment for video playback, microphone, or other requirements
Provide a detailed schedule for your driver
Ensure that the company knows what hours the driver must be available to the group, as there are legal requirements to a driver`s hours spent driving.
Department of Transportation Driver Regulations
Make sure the company follows this as Ontario law restricts driving time to 13 hours in a day, after which the driver must be off-duty for 8 consecutive hours prior to driving again.
Inquire how long the company has been operating
Find out when the company was established and how long it has been offering charter motorcoach services. A good track record is always desirable.
Make a request for references
Request and contact references from similar type of groups travelling on similar types of programs. Never charter from a company unwilling to provide references.
Ask how many coaches are in their fleet
Overall charter fleet size is important. It provides a gauge to the operator`s ability to supply alternate vehicles in the event of a mechanical problem, on multi-motorcoach movements or on weekends and during peak seasons.
Ontario law requires that a public vehicle operator must carry $8 million in insurance for buses with 13 or more passengers. Request the name of the insurance provider and the carrier`s policy number.
Consider a visit to the company`s facilities
Request an inspection of the company`s equipment, general offices and garage facilities before signing any contracts or agreements. You can tell a lot about a company just by looking.
Safety Incentive Programs
Ask whether the company has one – constant monitoring and recognition by a Safety Director provides piece of mind. Ensure that the company you`re using has a strong safety-oriented culture instilled in all operators.
Drug and Alcohol Screening
Specify whether your carrier has a drug and alcohol policy and a random drug testing program. Never charter from a carrier that does not strongly enforce a drug and alcohol free workplace.
Extra Mileage costs above contracted amount
Find out the carrier`s policy before the trip about who is responsible for extra costs before the trip, not when you get the bill!
Full Service Company
It is important to know whether the company has their own maintenance facilities.
Public Vehicle Operating License
Issued by the Ontario Highway Transport Board, this authorizes the service being offered. However, if the trip is beyond Ontario borders, the company must hold an Extra-Provincial Operating License issued by the board. Licenses can be verified by calling the Ontario High Transport Board.
Safety Inspection Sticker
Ontario requires buses to have a mechanical inspection every 6 months. The safety sticker must be located at the front right corner of the coach with the month and day the inspection indicated.
Ensure the company has procedures in place as the driver should have access to a nationwide reciprocal maintenance agreement which will assure you of prompt servicing equipment in all regions of Canada and the US.