Do I need to book the hotel room for the bus driver?
On overnight trips, the group makes arrangements and pays for the bus drivers hotel room during the whole trip. If the group requires the bus for transportation while they are at their destination, it is best to provide a room at the same hotel the group is staying at, or nearby so that good service can be assured.
Do we provide the drivers meals?
The drivers pay for their own meals. Make sure they have access to food when you plan stops. If you wish to treat them with group meals, it’s always nice to be asked! TIPS are not a requirement - but if you receive GREAT service it’s always nice.
Do I pay for parking, tolls and other fees?
Overnight parking and road tolls are included in the bus quote. National Park fees and ferry fees are paid by the group. Entrance fees and parking at events and attractions are paid by the group.
How many hours is a driver allowed to be on duty?
Bus drivers are strictly regulated by law to drive, work, sleep and stay off-work. On duty is any time spent performing work related activities, pre trip inspection, fueling, cleaning, loading, unloading, waiting to load and driving.
In Canada a driver shall not be requested or allowed to drive more than 13 hours or be on duty more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period and have at least 8 consecutive hours off duty before coming back on duty. Further 2 hours of off duty breaks of no less than 30 minutes each must be taken in a 24 hour day. In the US a driver shall not drive more than 10 hours, be on duty more than 14 hours with breaks and have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before coming back on duty. Keep in mind - the more time spent waiting to load, unload and clean - the less time they are allowed to drive.
Please don’t pressure your driver to break the law by exceeding these limits or changing your itinerary! Highway Traffic Board and US transportation authorities will issue fines during audits when limits are exceeded. Police and traffic officers can take a coach out of service for violations and make a group wait for another driver.
For groups that need to “drive through” to distant destinations, we have a couple options that we can give you a price on.
- We can send two drivers on the trip by installing a legal closed in compartment in the back of the bus for the off duty driver to sleep in. The compartment reduces the seating capacity of the bus by 6 seats. The group still needs to supply a hotel room for the drivers once they reach their destination.
- We can also do a “driver change” by sending a driver to a location along the route. The second driver stays in a hotel and rests for the required period and takes over the bus when it arrives. The first driver then takes the hotel room and rests until his required period is complete and returns home.
I asked around and can get a bus from someone else for less. When you are checking around for bus transportations what does a bus require?
Competition is not a bad thing - if all things are equal. During some parts of the year or days of the week, everyone has some equipment that is just sitting, other periods there are not enough buses in the whole province to meet the demand. Our new coaches are $600,000 investments. Maintaining and operating them safely and following the rules is expensive.
When you get “a better deal” hopefully the operator isn’t cutting corners to rent out their buses and make payments. Sask Highway Traffic officers had two coaches towed from a ski hill in 2016 that didn’t have For Hire authority or current safety certificates.
Maintenance and repairs are generally the first to suffer.
Maintenance and repairs are generally the first to suffer.
So, every company offering for hire in Saskatchewan, must have:
- A Saskatchewan Highway Traffic Board Certificate of Authority to operate.
- Each bus must have a current Saskatchewan registration. It must also have a Sask Government Insurance Inspection certificate.
- It must have Automobile Liability Insurance of at least $2 million providing coverage for bodily injury and property damage (we have $10 million because we operate in the US).
- The company must have an SGI safety profile which certifies that the company and vehicles have been checked (audited) and are operating within the requirements of the Highway Traffic Act.
- If traveling out of the province, must have licencing and authorities.
- The driver must do a pre-trip vehicle inspection, note in writing any defects found and repaired and certify the vehicle is safe to operate.
- The driver must also complete a duty log and keep it up to date during the trip to insure that hours of operation are not exceeded. Both must be on board the bus for inspection by a police or traffic officer.
All of these authorities, inspections and insurance papers should be provided to you on request when booking a trip. Each of our buses also has copies of all our authorities, licences and insurances on the bus. A call to the Saskatchewan Highway Traffic Board can also verify that we are a reputable company that is following all the regulations.
What Happens if the bus breaks down?
Our buses and passengers are the life-blood of our business and we meticulously care for them both. That's why we are partnered with an international network of associated bus companies ready to provide buses, drivers or whatever is necessary to ensure your trip continues on with as little interruption as possible.
Do you have buses for small groups?
At the present time we have 15 passenger U-Drive vans stationed in Prince Albert and full size 56 passenger coaches in Prince Albert and Saskatoon. 2 of our 56 passenger coaches have had a row of seats removed, making them 52 passenger with more leg room. We have had smaller buses in the past and found that driver, fuel and maintenance costs are close to the same as the full sized buses but we can’t charge as much, so we have focused on full size.
Is alcohol or smoking allowed?
It is not legal to have or consume alcohol on a bus. Smoking is not allowed on our buses, smoke stops can be arranged with the driver.
You serve “All of Saskatchewan”?
We have Highway Traffic Board authority to pickup groups anywhere in Saskatchewan. Our U Drive vans and school buses are stored in Prince Albert, so only available to customers there. Our Highway Coach fleet is split between Prince Albert and Saskatoon, so most of our customers are in the Northern/Central part of the province. With our closest coaches stationed in Saskatoon, it is too costly for customers to hire us to do short trips from Regina, Swift Current, southern Saskatchewan for day or weekend trips - but we are very attractive to them when looking for longer transportation or out of the province, to anywhere in North America!
Are your coaches cleaned and sanitized to health standards?
Yes, we are committed to providing safe, reliable service for customers with essential travel needs and are in compliance with applicable intra-provincial government health orders and guidelines. With customer and employee safety as our top priority, we continue to regularly sanitize our buses. Our luxury motorcoaches are equipped with air purification systems to destroy biological polutions such as bacteria, molds, allergens and germs while reducing infection risks, as well as reducing driver and passenger fatigue.