Take the Bus

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Transportation by bus or motor coach seems such a practical way to get to and around at reunions. Consider these ideas and suggestions for your next reunion.

Buses everywhere
I was at a Detroit hotel over a reunion season/summer weekend a couple years ago (working, ironically) and there were five reunions at the hotel (that’s NOT why I was there). The parking lot was full of buses from all over. When we were all checking out at the same time Sunday morning, buses were lined up. VERY tired revelers were dragging themselves and their pillows onto the buses for the long sleep home. That seems so practical!

Looking for flexibility?
According to the American Bus Association, US motorcoaches carry more than 774 million passengers annually – about 200 million more than airlines and more than double those traveling on Amtrak and commuter rail. Motorcoaches serve more than six times more US destinations than airlines and more than seven times more than passenger rail. ABA offers a free list of US tour bus companies equipped for disabled travelers.

ABA suggests busing destinations
Judith Whitt of the American Bus Association in Washington DC says their Top 100 Events in North America can be requested by email (abainfo@buses.org), fax (202- 842-0850) or mail (1100 New York Avenue NW – Ste 1050, Washington DC 20005-3934). Or visit their website, www.buses.org, and click Top 100 Events. To see and print out Motorcoach Travel Tips, go to www.buses.org/tips.cfm.

These are tips for consumers interested in motorcoach travel in general, or in organizing their own group charter or tour. When booking a motorcoach, be prepared to provide details about your destination(s), required itinerary and the approximate number of people.

How to plan your bus needs

  • Estimate the number of people requiring transportation for each event. Establish pickup and dropoff sites. Will members be moved in one trip or many?
  • Request information about ground transportation operators from Convention and Visitors Bureaus or hotel staff.

Questions to ask

  • How long have they been in business?
  • What is their specialty?
  • Do vehicles have air conditioning, seat belts, public address system, restrooms?
  • What is their safety record? (Department of Transportation, Office of Motor Carrier Federal Highway Administration, 800-832-5660; www.safesys.org)
  • When they quote costs, do they include fuel, equipment, maintenance, union fees, state and local taxes, surcharges and tolls?
When the McNair-Brazil-Scott Family Reunion tours, they do so in chartered buses. Here they're arriving for a visit at the Milwaukee Art Museum on Lake Michigan.

When the McNair-Brazil-Scott Family Reunion tours, they do so in chartered buses. Here they’re arriving for a visit at the Milwaukee Art Museum on Lake Michigan.

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