It can be easy to forget charter bus loading and parking logistics when you’re busy planning a group trip. This is because so many things go into your schedule, such as budgeting and itinerary.
However, a crucial part of your trip is mapping out pick-up and drop-off points, parking and essential permits. Having these things planned out and prepared saves you time, reduces costs and helps you avoid penalties or parking tickets.
Here are the essential factors to consider when planning your logistics.
Charter Bus Loading and Parking Logistics
Your logistics and other needs don’t end with booking a charter bus. The driver and staff won’t be able to plan everything for you. It would be best to determine parking areas and drop-off points for when you reach your destination and local regulations covering oversized vehicles.
Understand the Charter Terminology
Every industry has its jargon, including charter companies and tourist destinations. Here are some of the terms you should become familiar with when making travel arrangements for your bus charter:
- Staging: The staging area is where your charter bus will wait before moving to where it can load passengers. Buses stay in staging areas for a few minutes before transferring to loading and unloading areas.
- Loading and Unloading Areas: These zones are where you get on and off your chartered bus. There are time limits set for each bus, lasting 5 to 15 minutes. Ask the driver to go to the staging and loading area after your group has gathered to board the bus.
- Parking: Each location will have designated parking spaces, which is crucial for oversized vehicles like buses. Contact the facility you’re visiting and inquire about available parking.
- Idling: In many cities and states, vehicles are allowed a specific time to idle at a given location, usually three to ten minutes. If your bus stays in place beyond that limit, the driver will be required to turn off the engine. Remember this when asking your driver to pick up or drop off passengers in various locations.
- On Duty: On-duty time refers to the hours when your driver is considered at work. This includes any time they’re responsible for the vehicle and not necessarily driving it.
- Driving Time: This includes all hours the driver is driving to and from any destination.
- Deadhead: This covers the time your bus travels from the depot to your selected departure point. On-duty, driving time and deadhead hours will be included in the billing costs for charter bus loading and parking logistics. It is best to match the closest charter bus to your designated pick-up points to help you reduce costs.
Plan Your Destination and Contact the Local DOT
It’s crucial to research each destination and plan your trip accordingly as doing so will help you prepare for the traffic, transport accommodations and other essentials. It is best to contact the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT). They can provide travelers with resources to help them plan their trip.
They can also inform you about essential regulations for out-of-town travelers and bus charters. In addition, you will need to plan for areas with travel restrictions for oversized vehicles such as buses. Finally, find out about designated loading and unloading areas, parking, travel permits and other necessities.
Choose Your Pick-Up Points
There are designated pick-up points for each destination, such as museums, landmarks, sports facilities, hotels, airports and other tourist destinations:
- Airports: Since these locations are busy, you will only be allowed a short staging time, so ensure your group knows exactly where to go for seamless boarding. Most airports will have parking maps on their websites to help you plan your logistics. In addition, you should also account for baggage claims and customs times if needed.
- Museums and Other Landmarks: Historic sites and museums usually have designated areas where charter buses can park, load and unload passengers. Parking zones are generally a walk away from these destinations, but arrangements can be tricky during peak seasons with multiple buses in the area.
- Sports Facilities: Sports venues and other facilities usually have accommodations for charter buses. Their staff is used to hosting large groups and can guide you where to stage, load, unload and park. Contact the management staff of these facilities beforehand and make the necessary arrangements since these venues tend to get crowded quickly. You may run out of parking spaces for your charter buses.
Parking, Lodging and Accommodations
Not every destination will have parking and other accommodations for oversized vehicles like RVs and buses. Contact the staff of each destination you plan to visit and inquire about available parking for charter buses.
If they have available spaces, ask for parking rates since buses are usually charged higher due to their size. If the place you’re visiting doesn’t have available spaces to park a larger vehicle, ask if the staff can recommend places where you can park your bus and make arrangements.
Finally, don’t forget that your bus driver also needs a place to rest after a long drive. So make sure the parking area you chose also has accommodations where your driver can have a meal, rest and prepare for the next drive.
Plan Your Bus Charter Logistics with Seasoned Experts
Planning your charter’s parking and logistics can be difficult. Plan your trip with the help of seasoned travel experts who can help you make necessary travel arrangements. At Atlantic Coast Charters, we have proudly served travelers since 2010, helping them plan their group trips. For more information, contact us by filling out this form.