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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  10:31:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a 52 passanger school bus and I'm looking into buying a 52 passanger activity bus with coach seats and a/c. I was thinking about opening a charter company in ct... could do school trips, sports trips, weddings and mabee a few casino runs ect. How do you think I would do? Have any tips for me? Thanks.

Jake
Top Member

USA
3527 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2012 :  5:55:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jake's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You'd want to have a good insurance policy and also a good plan on how to keep your services reasonable, but still make ends meet (fuel, driver wages, etc). Also make sure your buses are well maintained to pass state inspections and don't buy any buses too old.
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2012 :  04:20:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I may have mentioned this before, but COSTA is a great resource in CT. They can help you make sure you meet all the legal requirements. I would also recommend making friends with school districts and other companies in your area, you may end up sharing some work and getting some good advice.

http://www.ctschoolbus.org

What part of CT are you in? I'm up in the "Quiet Corner," a couple towns away from both RI and MA.
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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2012 :  07:45:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
New haven area... I would think it would be busy down here
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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2012 :  7:06:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a choice of buying a 40 plus 1 wheel chair activity bus or I have the choice of buying a 52 passanger activity bus... The wheelchair bus is newer and I really like it but I'm kinda leaning towards the 52 passanger because ill make more money with it I'm guessing.... A normal group size is over 40 no? Any suggestions? Thanks
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2012 :  09:18:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
The group sizes vary, if the wheelchair bus is overall in better shape it might be a good investment. You should be able to find plenty of work covering trips for local schools even with the smaller bus. A lot of sports teams are in the 20-30 range or even lower, but it depends what type of work you're doing. A full-size bus with a lift may also come in handy once in a while; a lot of schools use minis to get handicapped kids to/from school, but want to keep them with their classes on field trips.
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

453 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2012 :  09:19:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daycare101

I have a choice of buying a 40 plus 1 wheel chair activity bus or I have the choice of buying a 52 passanger activity bus... The wheelchair bus is newer and I really like it but I'm kinda leaning towards the 52 passanger because ill make more money with it I'm guessing.... A normal group size is over 40 no? Any suggestions? Thanks



What kind of price are you looking at? There are some really nice options out there buying brand new too that may be less expensive than a used coach.
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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2012 :  10:20:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would like to do a lot of school trips and would like to do a few casino trips as well. But since I'm a small company and would only have 2 buses to start I'm wondering if it would be better for me to buy the larger bus rather then the 40 passanger.. I took a ride to the casino seems to be all coach buses...
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2012 :  6:45:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Once in a while you'll see an activity-style bus or mini coach at the casinos, but it's usually just coaches and mid-size coaches. You definitely can't take a yellow school bus into the bus lobby, although they don't care if you park in the bus lot if you just have a few people and you hop the shuttle (we've had school bus driver parties at the buffet at Mohegan Sun before). If you're bringing people to the casino, you have to call them for a reservation ahead of time, and they require you to stay there for a certain number of hours before they'll give out the coupons.

When you say activity bus, are you talking about something like Dattco's ATs? Coach seating, lots of luggage room, transit-style windows? Or just a slightly-upgraded non-yellow school bus?
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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2012 :  8:18:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.dattco.com/bus-sales-leasing/vehicle-sales.php?id=13

This is what i am talking about.
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2012 :  03:50:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Gotcha. In that case, I'd go with the 52-seater. Rear engine buses have a more comfortable ride, and are easier to work on. The only advantage to the front-engine version is the tight turning radius, but once you get comfortable with an RE you can take it almost anywhere an FE can go.
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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2012 :  3:21:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone know how bus companies are charging for school field trips? Do they do it by the hour or by mile? how much..... Thanks
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kd4jfd
Top Member

USA
1168 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2012 :  6:22:46 PM  Show Profile  Click to see kd4jfd's MSN Messenger address  Send kd4jfd a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I know my district is charging eighteen something plus milage.

539 - Repair work in progress!
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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2012 :  09:45:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Let me ask you guys this...... Say i do school field trips and use a school bus, will my CDL with F endorsement be ok?... Its not going home to school and would not be using lights or anything....
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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2012 :  7:16:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
In CT, you're supposed to use the warning lights any time you're loading students on a yellow school bus, even if it's a charter, unless you cover the school bus signs (for example, if you have an illuminated sign that can be flipped over to say "Charter" or something else). The company I work for does primarily charters with school buses, none of which are equipped with changeable signs, so our policy is to use the lights whenever loading/unloading. Only drivers with an S endorsement can drive those buses. There used to be a provision for a dual registration that would allow a school bus to also be registered as a "Service Bus" and driven on charters with a V endorsement, but that has been repealed - if it's yellow, you need an S.

We do have one full-size activity bus, a school bus repainted white, registered as a "Service Bus/Student Transport," identified as "Carrying School Children," which was repainted for a driver who downgraded to an V endorsement (for reasons I won't get into here). Because it's designated for carrying school children and inspected as an STV, it would require at least an A endorsement to drive on a school-related charter. With an F endorsement, you can't drive anything designated for student transportation, although you could drive a vehicle with "Bus" plates on a school charter. However, "Bus" plates are much more of a hassle, as they're regulated by both DMV and DOT and require an inspection every 6 months. "Service Bus" with "Carrying School Children" is only through DMV, and only inspected once a year, but is considered an STV and requires an A or V to drive.

http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=805&Q=244782&dmvPNavCtr=|28100|&dmvPNavCtr=|41639|#28104 (For non-CT folks who have no idea what we're talking about with V, A, and F endorsements)

Edit: I forgot to mention, if you're doing a "Service Bus/Student Transport" registration, the bus will have to meet all the school bus equipment requirements too except for warning lights, stop arm, and crossing arm. You'll need something with school bus seats, school bus windows, all the same emergency exits, etc. Dattco's "Activity Transport" buses wouldn't qualify, they have the transit-style windows, coach-style seating, inside luggage racks, etc. Dattco registers them with "Bus" plates, the same classification as a motorcoach.

Edited by - bus724 on 05/02/2012 7:28:03 PM
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daycare101
Active Member

22 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2012 :  08:07:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So if my Activity bus or motor coach is registered with bus plates.... I can transport kids on school trips with a cdl and F endorsement.... correct? thanks so much you have been crazy helpful so far.
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Admin
Administrator

USA
1662 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2023 :  08:17:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the market for a used school bus? From our archives: https://www.schoolbusfleet.com/10011607/how-and-when-to-buy-a-used-school-bus
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