Chartering a Bus or Coach in NSW by alendar


Chartering a Bus or Coach in NSW

More Info
									Chartering a Bus
or Coach in NSW
What to look for
Chartering a                              This guide is designed to assist individuals and
                                          organisations who are considering chartering a bus or
Bus or Coach                              coach for a transfer, day trip or an extended tour.

in NSW                                    The guide explains the current rules that charter bus and
                                          coach operators in New South Wales must comply with. It
What to look for                          outlines important travel details required by the bus or
                                          coach operator and also answers frequently asked
                                          questions about bus and coach charter.

Planning a                                For extended trips a list of passenger      How much luggage will

Successful &                                                                          be taken?
                                          names with contact details should be
                                          supplied to the operator prior to the

                                          commencement of the journey                 Advise the bus or coach operator
                                          wherever possible.                          about the amount and type of
                                                                                      luggage (e.g. bags, sporting
                                          Bus or coach operators must stay            equipment, tents) you will be
How do I get started?                     within legal load limits set for their      carrying, to ensure it will be
                                          particular bus or coach. You can help       stored safely and efficiently.
Before you contact a bus or coach         ensure compliance with the limits by
operator, you need to work out some       providing accurate numbers of               What features do you require?
basic details about your proposed trip.   passengers to the operator.
Use the following questions to put                                                    When requesting a quotation you
together the information the operator     What is the itinerary?                      should advise the operator if you
will need.                                                                            require any of the following features:
                                          Plan your trip with a realistic itinerary
Where & when do you                       which takes into account the needs of       »   Air-conditioning
want to go?                               your group and the requirements of the      »   Toilet
                                          bus or coach operator.                      »   Coach seats (reclining)
Decide your proposed destination and      Decide how many hours or days the           »   Seat belts
when you want to travel. This will        trip will take and the daily start and      »   PA System
determine the minimum requirements        finish times. Be specific about times,      »   Television/DVD
of the bus or coach charter.              keeping in mind rest stops, meal            »   Wheelchair accessibility
                                          breaks, and any side trips. Whilst there    »   Bookings for accommodation
How many passengers will                  are no restrictions on the distance             or attractions
be travelling?                            travelled in one day there are
                                          restrictions on how many hours a bus
Try to get a firm indication of the       or coach driver can drive in one day or
number of passengers travelling as        over a number of days.
early as possible. This will determine
the bus or coach size and the number
of vehicles required for the trip.
Current Rules                              Who can provide a charter
                                           bus or coach service for
                                                                                     Who can drive the charter
                                                                                     bus or coach?
                                           your group?
What is a charter bus or                                                             Under the NSW Passenger Transport
coach service?                             In New South Wales, any operator who      Act, 1990, a driver of a Public
                                           holds a NSW Ministry of Transport         Passenger Vehicle must hold a
A charter service is a service in          Operator Accreditation for Long           Drivers Authority, which has been
which a bus or coach and a driver          Distance, Tourist and Charter Services    issued by the Director General of
are pre-booked for an agreed               is allowed to tender for your charter.    the NSW Ministry of Transport.
“group” fee, where all passengers’
journeys have a common origin or a         Operators must display details of their
common destination.                        accreditation, including their company
                                           name, accreditation number and the
                                           suburb where the vehicle is based, on
You should be aware that if a school       the front nearside or offside panel of
teacher, relative or friend drives a bus   the bus or coach.
or coach hired from a rental company
it is not considered a charter service.
This means that the driver will not                                                  A Drivers Authority means that a
necessarily have a Driver Authorisation,                                             person has been assessed by the
comply with fatigue, drug or alcohol                                                 Ministry of Transport as being fit
regulations, or that the bus or coach                                                and proper to drive a public
will meet Public Transport Standards.                                                passenger vehicle, which includes
                                                                                     an assessment of their medical
                                                                                     fitness and a police criminal check.

                                                                                     When boarding a bus or coach
                                           Operators are issued with an Operator     you should check that the driver
                                           Accreditation Certificate by the NSW      is displaying their Driver
                                           Ministry of Transport and can provide     Authority Card.
                                           a copy to you if requested.

Charter Checklist
The following checklist should be used as a guide:
» Is the operator accredited by the NSW Ministry of Transport?
» Does the operator have experience in providing the charter service required?
» Is the driver licenced and authorised to drive a public passenger vehicle?
» Is the vehicle suitable for the trip?
» Does the vehicle have the features required by your group e.g. luggage capacity, seat
  belts, toilet etc.
» Does the itinerary allow the driver to comply with Driving Hours Regulations?
» Does the operator have a back up procedure in the case of a break down?
    Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum age for                 Do buses and coaches have an              Can passengers eat and drink on
buses and coaches in NSW?                   independent safety check?                 a bus or coach?
In New South Wales there is no              All buses and coaches in NSW              No. Food or beverages (inc. alcohol)
maximum age for buses and coaches           undergo an inspection every six           should not be consumed on buses or
used for charter services.                  months by the Roads and Traffic           coaches (only bottled water).
                                            Authority (RTA) as part of the Heavy
Are seat belts compulsory?                  Vehicle Inspection Scheme (HVIS).         Are all bus and coach operators
Coaches manufactured after 1 July 1994                                                members of BusNSW?
and designed for long-distance travel       In addition, they may be tested at        No. Approximately 700 bus and
(with seats greater than 100cm high)        temporary or permanent road side          coach operators are members of
must be equipped with seat belts for all    Heavy Vehicle Inspection Stations and     BusNSW. BusNSW works with all
occupants. It is not compulsory for other   or weighbridges.                          members to ensure compliance with
types of buses to have seat belts.                                                    regulatory requirements and all
                                            Can all bus or coach operators            accreditation conditions.
Are buses or coaches equipped               sell tour packages?
for Wheelchairs?                            Bus or coach operators who take           Members of BusNSW have a genuine
Charter bus or coach services for           bookings for attractions or               interest in operational best practice
groups are not required to comply with      accommodation packages (where the         and the provision of professional
the Commonwealth Disability                 value exceeds $50,000 per annum)          services to the public.
Standards for Accessible Public             should be licensed travel agents.
Transport Guidelines 2004.                                                            How much can I expect to pay for
                                            You can check whether your bus or         a charter bus or coach?
However, there are buses and coaches        coach operator is a licensed travel       Where possible, you should get quotes
available that are equipped and             agent by contacting the NSW               from a number of bus or coach operators.
licenced to carry wheelchairs.              Department of Fair Trading. This          Ask them to supply details of the bus or
                                            ensures that all monies held on your      coach and its features with the quote.
How do I know if an operator                group’s behalf are kept in a trust
is experienced?                             account which is audited every year.      You can generally expect to pay more
How long an operator has been in                                                      for additional features such as seat belts,
business generally provides a good          Can all bus or coach operators            air-conditioning, toilets, coach seating,
indication of their experience. If you do   travel to national parks?                 travel agency services such as booking
not know anyone who has previously          Bus or coach operators who take           attractions and services on your behalf,
used the operator’s services you may        passengers to national parks should be    and some vehicle types and sizes.
request that the operator provide           licensed tour or charter operators with
details of a current customer who you       NSW National Parks. This ensures          Remember, you get what you pay for.
may contact for a reference.                passengers are protected by adequate
                                            safety standards and public liability
                                            insurance whilst enjoying their time in
                                            national parks.

                                                                                              27 Villiers Street
             Your BusNSW operator                                                             North Parramatta NSW 2151

                                                                                              Locked Bag 13
                                                                                              North Parramatta NSW 1750

                                                                                              Ph: 02 8839 9500
                                                                                              Fax: 02 9683 1465

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