Everyone knows school buses are clear winner when it comes to transporting any large group from a budget perspective. Plus, they’re a lot of fun to ride in! However, if you want to end up happy with your transportation choice, there are a few other important factors that you need to consider.
Pros and cons of using a school bus for long distance trips
The obvious advantage is cost. School buses are flat out the best option if pricing is your main consideration. Also, they’re super safe and designed for transporting students to and from school daily. The safety requirements of drivers and bus maintenance is second to none (as it should be!).
For trips that will require you to be on the bus for several days, or those that will require passengers to be on the bus overnight, you may look beyond a school bus and consider a coach bus. If you’re planning such a journey, invest in transportation designed for overnight or multi-day rides.
While the seats on an average school bus are more than adequate for comfortable short or mid-range trips, they really weren’t designed to allow for comfortable sleep. And if you put your group in the position of having to sleep overnight on a school bus, they’re likely not to experience the most comfortable sleep as the seats don’t recline.
Restrooms? Although school buses don’t have restrooms, drivers familiar with the route will know where rest stops are located. Conscientious drivers will make sure that passengers are given the chance to use them.
It’s really not much different from what happens when you drive yourself over long distances – stops can be made at gas stations and government rest stops when passengers require access to washrooms. There’s no need to worry that you’ll be running into the bushes beside the road for an “unofficial” bathroom break!
There’s long distance, and then there’s “too long” distance
So where should you draw the line? Here’s a good rule of thumb. After many years of experience, we can confidently recommend using our school buses for short or mid-range trips. This would include journeys from Toronto to anywhere within the Golden Horseshoe region.
As you may know, the Golden Horseshoe region is between Lake Ontario’s western shore, the north shore of Lake Erie, and the southern border of Georgian Bay. Within this populous Southern Ontario area, a handful of the most popular destinations within those boundaries:
- Downtown Toronto – from museums to all the Toronto pro sports franchise stadiums there’s almost too much to explore
- Niagara Falls and nearby attractions, including the Casino
- Dundurn National Historic Site
- Halton Region Museum
- Hamilton Civic Museums
- Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton/Burlington
- Battlefield House Museum and Park
You can check out more popular destinations and group types that typically use school bus services here. Cities and towns that fall within the Golden Horseshoe region are as follows: Owen Sound, Point Clark, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Simcoe, Port Burwell, Port Stanley, Leamington, Windsor, Sarnia, Grand Bend, and London.
Even trips of several hours can be made easily and comfortably in a school bus. The trick is to schedule regular rest breaks for longer trips so your group can get out and stretch their legs, as well as use the restroom.
Make your school bus trip fun
Trips of several hours are best enjoyed with some entertainment. Passengers should bring along something to entertain themselves, such as earbuds and equipment to listen to music, or, tablets to watch movies on. If your group is made up of primarily children, group organizers should come up with some fun activities to help pass the time.
A school bus is the best option for budget friendly group transportation within the Golden Horseshoe region
For trips within the Golden Horseshoe region, you can book a school bus with confidence. It’ll be easy on your budget, leaving more money to spend on other things.