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What Should You Know Before You Charter a Bus?
1. What is the company's USDOT rating?
There are two safety ratings you should ask about. The first is the Department of Transportation Safety Rating. The highest possible rating is 'Satisfactory.' It's easy to find a company's rating on the Internet: www.safersys.org. Search by company name, USDOT number or MC number. Never charter from a company with an 'Unsatisfactory' rating. The second safety rating comes from the U.S. Department of Defense. The highest rating is 'Outstanding.'
Valley Transit has been awarded the highest ratings by both agencies.
2. Request the company's DOT number, which is required for legal operation.
Use the number to check the company's current safety rating. Our DOT number is 0136567.
3. How long has the company been in business?
The longer it has offered transportation service, the better. Valley Transit has been in business more than 60 years.
4. Ask the company to supply a Certificate of Insurance, showing its levels of insurance and effective policy dates.
We are happy to provide this to our customers.
5. What is the size of the company's fleet?
Fleet size provides an insight to the operator's ability to supply alternate vehicles, if needed. It may also serve as an indicator of the company's success.
Valley Transit operates the largest, most modern fleet in South Texas.
6. Personally inspect the company's offices, garage facilities and buses.
At Valley Transit, we are more than happy to show you the buses on which you will travel and let you tour both of our full-service garages.
7. How old is the equipment?
The newer the equipment, the better. We offer TV/VCR/CD/DVD entertainment on most of our late-model, state-of-the-art buses.
8. Is the company a full service company? Does it have its own maintenance facilities?
We own and operate two full-service garages. Both operate 24 hours a day.
9. Ask for references.
Never charter from a company that is not willing to provide references.
10. Make sure the company adheres to DOT driver regulations, which limit the number of hours a driver can work.
A driver is limited to 10 hours of actual driving time. If your itinerary exceeds this limit, how will the company handle your group's needs?
11. What procedures are followed for on-the-road emergencies?
Valley Transit has a nationwide reciprocal maintenance agreement with Greyhound Lines to ensure prompt servicing of equipment in all regions of the United States.
12. Ask if the company has a formal Drug and Alcohol program.
Never charter transportation from a company that does not strongly enforce a drug- and alcohol-free workplace.