Shuttle and Group Transportation FAQs
We know it's a lot to plan group transportation and we're here to help. In addition to offering new vehicles, the highest safety rating and quality customer service, TransAction Corporate Shuttles wants to help you plan your group transportation as easily as possible. Here are the most common questions we are asked by customers new to group transportation services. We hope they help, and if you have any questions not addressed here, please call us for more assistance.
Q: I'm trying to budget as best I can for my event. Can you give me a ball-park idea on what some of your price ranges are?
A: Every one of our shuttle bookings are catered to your event, group size and other factors. This allows us to provide you the most affordable quote for your group transportation. But to give you a "ball-park" idea of pricing, here is an example that may help: For a 14-passenger bus, our all-inclusive quote would likely start around $368 (four-hour minimum one way). A 33-passenger bus would start around $595.
Q: I'd ideally like to use shuttle transportation for my event, but the price is a tad over my budget. Would it be cheaper to have my guests individually take cabs or Uber/Lyft to and from my venue?
A: Many of our customers consider using taxis or Uber/Lyft as an option for their guest transportation. When there are just a few people, the trip is a short distance and if there is no potential for surge pricing from those providers, it may be a bit less. It's best to comparison shop, however, consider the experience you're providing (and taking away) from your guests if you put the responsibility on them to provide their own transportation. We have found that our customers enjoy their events so much more when their group shares in the transportation experience together. They can relax, focus on the event and having more fun. They also get to your event at the same time. Regardless, we want you to find the best solution for group transportation. Call us to talk about your group and event and we'll help you figure it out at the best price, even if we recommend you use another provider. We want to help you get the best transportation solution for the best price, always.
Q: What information do I need to have ready to get a quote on group transportation?
A: To prepare a quote for your event we need to know: 1) how many guests, 2) pick-up address, 3) drop-off address, 4) date/time of pick-up and return. Depending on your event, we may also offer ideas that will help you save more money and make the experience even more enjoyable for your guests. That's why we like to talk to you and learn more about what you're trying to create so we can help you better.
Q: I've found that some shuttle providers don't have the best safety rating. Where does TransAction Corporate Shuttles stand on safety?
A: Safety is paramount throughout our entire company. TransAction Corporate Shuttles scores a "0" in categories: UNSAFE DRIVING, HOURS OF SERVICE COMPLIANCE, CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND ALCOHOL, and DRIVER FITNESS. This means we have received a 0 incident, or a perfect rating, from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. To see for yourself and compare against other providers, visit this link.
Q: When budgeting for my group transportation, is it more or less expensive to have the shuttle remain at the venue for the return trip, or leave and come back?
A: For the greatest efficiency and cost savings we pass along to you, we have a four-hour minimum for every shuttle booking. In many cases, if the entire event duration falls within 10-12 hours, it is more affordable to keep the shuttle on site. If the event falls outside this time, it is more affordable because we'll quote the transportation as two separate four-hour minimum trips. Either way, we will always recommend the most cost-effective plan to fit your transportation budget.
Q: Why do you limit your rentals to four-hour minimums?
A: You'll find as you shop around that the four-hour minimum is an Industry standard. It's more attractive to our drivers to have longer bookings and helps us retain the best quality drivers who consistently execute our safety practices and who will also provide a great experience for our guests. Also, because of the distance traveled, nature of events and number of people in each group, it helps us offer the most affordable pricing for shuttle bookings.
Q: Do I tip the driver when our trip is completed?
A: Our rates are all-inclusive. Every shuttle quote includes a 15% gratuity for the driver, mileage and fuel (wear and tear on the vehicle) costs. That way, when the trip is over, our customers don't have to worry about any additional fees and can focus on having a good time with their guests and at their event. However, if you want to provide the driver additional gratuity because of their performance, you are more than welcome to do so.
Q: What if your quote is over my budget? Can you do anything to help me make it work?
A: We always strive to make our quotes fit your budget. Since we have so many different vehicles to choose from—and we're really good at custom-designing group transportation plans for our customers—we will do our best to be creative and find a combination of vehicles that will fit your budget. In the end, we will never try to hard sell you into something you're not comfortable with. We're here to help and take the stress off of planning your transportation, and that includes fitting within your budget.
Q: When I confirm my booking, what information do you need from me? Do you need a deposit? How do I pay for my shuttle trip(s)?
A: To make it easier for our customers, we accept payments several ways. For established customers, we send an invoice after the service is completed. Other payment options include personal checks, as long as we receive the payment at least two weeks prior to the service. We also provide a credit card authorization form for most of our bookings. We do require a 50% deposit upon booking, however, and you also have the option of paying the remaining balance by check prior to your event.
Q: What if my shuttle breaks down during service?
A: In the rare occasion where a vehicle is unable to complete service, we replace it with a comparable or better vehicle as soon as we can so we can get you back on the road and to your event. Because our fleet is so broad and we are always prepared for these unexpected events, we are able to take care of it for you.
Q: What if I have to cancel my shuttle booking reservation?
A: We understand that sometimes plans unexpectedly change. For a full refund of your 50% deposit, contact us at least 72 hours prior to your event to tell us you are cancelling your booking. If your notice is inside the 72 hours of your booking, we will have to retain your deposit to maintain the integrity of our other customer bookings and commitment to our drivers. If the vehicle arrives at your pick-up location, the entire amount is due in full. Your charges can be paid with cash or credit card.
Q: Is alcohol allowed on board your shuttles? How about smoking?
A: For alcohol to be consumed on our vehicles, ALL passengers must be 21 years of age. We will send you a copy of our Terms and Conditions to sign and return if there will be consumption of any alcohol on the vehicle. For safety purposes, we do not allow glass containers or glassware. We allow coolers, however, just note that the cooler must be placed on a seat so that the aisle remains clear (state and federal safety regulation). In addition, no form of smoking is allowed on any of our vehicles.
Q: What happens after I book my shuttle and prior to the event?
A: We will stay in touch with you regarding your reservation. You can expect us to email you a reservation confirmation after you book with us. We will also call you 48 hours prior to confirm the reservation and provide you the driver's name and cell phone number.
Q: Do you provide any type of discount for repeat customers?
A: We have many customers who come back to us time and time again. We offer a 20% discount to our customers for repeat business.
Q: What other information will I receive regarding identifying my shuttle and anything I need to prepare for our transportation?
A: We know that sometimes it can be a bit confusing if we are picking up our guests at popular venues (like Fenway Park or Gillette Stadium) and it can be a challenge to identify which shuttle your group is to board. We do a few things to help alleviate that concern. We provide clearly marked laminated signs for multiple shuttle charters. We also assign a lead driver who will make contact prior to arriving and when at the pick-up or drop-off location. The lead driver will also coordinate any and all changes with you. Our goal is to make sure that all trip-related communication is clear and easy so you can focus on your guests and event.
Q: I'm on a really tight budget, and have heard that school buses are really cheap. Do you have school buses in your fleet?
A: We do not operate school buses. Many of our new customers believe that they can save money on their group transportation by asking for school buses, and that makes sense. However, school buses do not offer air conditioning and heat, and although some do have seat belts, the seating can be uncomfortable for adult guests. We pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of vehicles in our fleet that are ADA-accessible, have heat and air conditioning, more comfortable seating for adults, and provide a more pleasurable transportation experience. We know budgeting can be a challenge, and we will do our best to quote you the best price possible for your group transportation.
Q: How far in advance do I need to make my reservation?
A: It depends. Although we have a very large, diverse fleet, during popular seasons (sports playoffs, wedding season, etc.) our vehicles get booked up more rapidly. If we don't have a vehicle available for your dates upon making your reservation, we will do our best to accommodate your group perhaps using a larger vehicle. Your best bet is to call us to make your reservation as early as possible to avoid the risk of not getting the best vehicle for your event.
Q: Who can I contact if I have a problem during my transportation service?
A: You will be provided with the driver's name and cell phone number. If they need to speak with our office during a charter, the driver will provide you our individual cell phone numbers for assistance. Our drivers are given a list of people available to call during a charter if there is a problem.
Q: What happens if one of my guests leaves something on the shuttle after the service?
A: Sometimes guests leave something behind on our shuttles after the service. We always go through our shuttles after the completion of each service to look for items left behind so we can collect them. If one of your guests left an item on our shuttle, contact our office to retrieve the item.
Q: Do you offer shuttle charters that go across the country?
A: Unfortunately, we are not a national provider like Greyhound and do not provide cross-country service. We focus on providing same-day service within a specific radius around Boston, which allows us to be the most affordable option. We do offer multi-day service throughout New England. In cases where you may be traveling just outside of our radius of service for a same-day event, we will recommend other qualified regional providers we know to operate safely that may be a better fit to your budget. This is because you will have to pay for the vehicle to be driven to your pick-up location and so forth, which adds to the expense because of the mileage. It may be more affordable to use a provider based closer to your venue. Give us a call and we'll help you figure all of that out and make recommendations if we feel it may be more affordable to do so.
Q: What goes into calculating the cost of shuttle operation and service?
A: We factor in the following things when calculating the costs to operate our shuttles. 1) Fuel, 2) vehicle cost, 3) liability insurance, 4) driver payment, 5), hours of service, 6) tolls, and 7) mileage.
Q: I have a multi-day trip planned. Do I need to provide hotel lodging for the driver as well?
A: For multi-day trips, often the hotel will include a complimentary room for your driver if you have a large group already staying at the hotel, so be sure to inquire when making your hotel reservations. If a complimentary room is not available, it is your responsibility to reserve lodging for your driver. That way everyone stays together and you have access to your driver for any questions or assistance with the transportation.
Q: For safety purposes, what are the time limits for the driver to operate the vehicle(s)?
A: In accordance with safety regulations, a driver can drive a maximum of ten (10) hours, and/or be in service/on duty for no more than fifteen (15) hours. Drivers must have an eight (8) hour break prior to restart. We make sure these time constraints for driver safety are included in your transportation quote, so your plan includes all of these considerations. These limitations comply with all travel industry standards to keep pilots, drivers, conductors and other operators safe, alert and focused on providing a quality experience for all passengers.
Q: What's the best way for me to comparison shop other group transportation providers?
A: Not all bus companies operate the same. Here are some tips to make sure you are comparing each provider on equal ground and get the best quality for your price: 1) Ask for the company's safety rating. If it is more than a rating of 0 on the categories of UNSAFE DRIVING, HOURS OF SERVICE COMPLIANCE, CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND ALCOHOL, and DRIVER FITNESS, look elsewhere. You can check this for yourself at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, which we highly recommend. You'll quickly see that our ratings in those categories are 0 across the board, which is a perfect safety rating. 2) Age of vehicles. Our vehicles are all new or newer models, offering the best fuel efficiency, comfort and ADA safety compliance. 3) Liability insurance limits. Make sure your provider has adequate insurance coverage for passengers and vehicle(s). 4) Ask how long has the provider been in operation. TransAction Corporate Shuttles has been operating for over 25 years. 5) Ask if the provider is also the bus operator. For example, many providers claim they have a fleet available when in fact they are using another provider to operate the shuttle service. This invites a variety of concerns regarding liability, customer experience and other issues you should be aware of when reserving your transportation. 6) Lastly, ask if their quote is all-inclusive, meaning, do they include driver gratuity, tolls, fuel expense, mileage, etc. You don't want to be blindsided by hidden costs that show up in your final bill.
Have more questions?
We hope these FAQs have better equipped you to find the best provider, service and rates. If you have any other questions not addressed here, please feel free to call us. We're here to help.