A charter bus is a bus that is hired by a person or organization to transport people to a specific destination. These buses are typically run by private companies, rather than by public transit agencies, and they may include a number of amenities designed to keep people comfortable, including air conditioning, entertainment systems, reclining seating, and so forth.
When people charter a bus, they may pay a flat fee or be charged a fee based on the mileage. The bus comes with a driver who has been trained to operate the bus safely, and holds a license that permits the bus driver to drive passengers. Rather than following a set route, as is the case with buses used for public transit, a charter bus travels at the direction of the person or organization who hired it. Classically, the passengers meet the bus in a public location like a parking lot or airport, although the bus may also pick people up at their homes, making a number of stops to collect passengers.
There are a number of reasons for people and organizations to use a charter bus rental. Renting a bus is far cheaper than buying and maintaining one, especially when transportation is only periodically needed, which makes charters appealing. Groups may charter one for the purpose of touring an area, as for example when people want to go wine tasting in a big group, and they can also use a charter to move a large group of people who would otherwise travel independently, potentially wasting time, money, and fuel. For example, students preparing for an class trip overseas might use such a bus to get to the airport, rather than driving themselves.
Charter buses can also be used to provide transport to people who would otherwise be unable to travel. Some facilities designed for seniors and people with disabilities use the buses to take residents on trips, or for more routine tasks like getting people to the polls, the grocery store, and other destinations. They can also be used for tasks like emergency evacuations, moving sports teams, and transporting bands.
Many urban areas have several companies that offer bus rental, and people in more remote areas may be able to find a company in the vicinity that will offer services to their area. When renting a vehicle, people should inquire about the rates, possible additional fees for mileage, and the type of insurance the company carries. Some other concerns include the safety record of drivers, the maintenance record on the bus, and the type of amenities the company offers on its bus fleet.