by Lisa Grimaldi | June 01, 2004

The following checklist was compiled with the assistance of Brian Scott, vice president of Escot Bus Lines, 6890 142nd Ave. North, Largo, Fla.; (727) 545-2088;


  • For how long has the company been in business?
  • How often are coaches mechanically inspected?
  • What is the average age of the motor coaches?
  • Are vehicles cleaned nightly?
  • What is the seating capacity of vehicles the company uses?
  • Is it possible to visit the company’s facility and look at the coaches before making a decision?
  • Can the company provide proof of insurance coverage?
  • Can the company provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance?
  • To which professional associations does the company belong? 
  • What is the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation or Department of Defense rating and date of last audit?
  • Does the company have mobile communications and uniformed drivers?
  • What languages do the drivers speak? Are bilingual drivers available, if necessary?
  • What is the average job tenure of the firm’s drivers? (High turnover rates may be an indication of substandard service.)
  • Does the company conduct thorough background checks on its drivers (proper licensing, traffic violations, etc.)?
  • Who will be the contact person at the firm? Will that person be available during the event?
  • Does the company have an after-hours emergency phone number?
  • What happens if a motor coach breaks down while in service? Ask the firm to outline its backup plans. 
  • What is the minimum hourly usage charge? When do overtime charges apply?
  • Does the quoted price include gratuity, airport pickups, tolls, fuel surcharges, etc.?
  • If coaches are needed for several hours, is a more economical daily rate available?
  • Does the firm offer a volume discount if several vehicles are needed?
  • Does the firm keep careful tabs on local road closures, repairs and traffic? Do they plan alternate routes?
  • Does the firm have local permits to work in areas such as airports, piers and parks?
  • Can the firm supply you with references? (Be sure to call the references yourself.)

  • Provide dates, times and places of required services.
  • Include the number of coaches required, as well as their passenger-carrying capacity.
  • Provide basic information about the organization and profiles of the attendees.
  • Note any special services required, such as wheelchair-
    accessible vehicles, other ADA requirements or VIP needs. 
  • Spell out requirements regarding subcontracting to other carriers. Ask that any subcontracted work be specifically addressed in the written contract.
  • Specify if the group will require on-site dispatchers and/or coordinators from the company.
  • Specify if the group will require any special A/V equipment, such as a videotape player or a public address system.
  • Indicate whether rest room-equipped coaches are necessary. 
  • Note whether the group will require signage on coaches.
  • Indicate peak times for maximum shuttle service and times intermittent shuttles will be needed.
  • Find out if drivers have allotted or required break times.
  • Notes: