Busing it back to college- safely

August 28, 2013 (CHICAGO)

(RELEASE) There are many companies to choose from, so the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends considering a transportation company that provides riders with a safe traveling experience, as well as being economical.

"When selecting a motor coach company, the first thought may be to pick whatever seems the cheapest and most convenient," said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "However, it is important to verify the company's safety credentials first." The BBB offers the following tips for college students and their parents when selecting a safe bus company:

  • Know the history of the bus company. It is important to know how long the company has been in business and how long it has been established. If a charter bus company has been in business a long time, that is a good thing.
  • Verify with the Department of Transportation (DOT). Always ask for the company's DOT number. This number is assigned by the U.S. government and is required for the vehicle's drivers to carry at all times. The DOT number can also be used to check the past and current safety rating. The highest possible safety rating is satisfactory. Never ride in a vehicle with an unsatisfactory rating.
  • Inquire about equipment. Ask the average age of the vehicle's equipment. If a vehicle is more than 10 years old and doesn't have proper maintenance updates, there are more risks for breakdowns.
  • Ask how the company handles emergencies. Make sure you are informed how on-the-road emergencies are handled. The carrier should have access to a reciprocal maintenance agreement.
  • Make sure the company has a drug and alcohol program. Look on the company's website to make sure it has a formal drug and alcohol program. Never ride on a charter bus that doesn't have a drug and alcohol free workplace.

For more tips and information about safe motorcoach traveling vehicles, visit http://www.bbb.org

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