All accredited coach charter operator and bus hire company will all have the same template or parameters for pricing when it comes to quoting on an upcoming events that require minibuses and coaches. Without boring you with in-depth detail, the basic structure is based on the following elements.
- All bus companies rates are priced on depot to depot. A 4hr charter for the customer is a 6hr charter for the bus company with the driver receiving 8hrs with their pre and post inspections.
- Costs are based on the vehicle size and not per person. The smallest legal bus is a 13 seater (12 passengers not including the driver) with most bus companies have a mixed fleet size from 13, 20, 24, 34, 48, 54 and 57 seaters.
- A drivers shift starts at the depot 2hrs prior to the job start time.
- The first hour is the vehicle inspection or pre-departure check as part of the sign-on procedure which is a legal requirement in NSW. The check includes brakes, lights, tyres, steering, water, fuel & oil, mirrors, indicators, interior lights, external damage, wheel nuts, wipers & washers, starting the bus (oil/water/battery lights go off) and checking the gauges, as well as a visual interior inspection for rubbish and lost property and completing and signing the vehicle report.
- The second hour is getting to the pickup location. Even if it’s only 10kms away as we have to account for traffic delays in a growing and worsening Sydney traffic nightmare. In peak hour and locations that are a lot further away require more time.
- After the final drop, the driver heads back to the depot, allowing 1hr, refuelling enroute back to the depot and then completes their end-of-shift procedure inspection which is the same as the pre-departure inspection with the added walkthrough of the vehicle to check all pax have alighted, check for lost property, sweep the bus and pickup any rubbish, then complete the job sheet milage and fill out (if necessary) a defect report for any issues encountered on shift.
- Driver wages have penalty rates for early starts, late finishes, weekends, and public holidays.
Time of Day
- Time of day also plays a part in the pricing as a peak hour service obviously takes longer than non-peak. A single transfer from Sydney CBD to the airport on a Friday at 6pm can take a good hour plus, and with traffic within the airport precinct, unloading and exiting the airport can be a 30 minute window. With the driver coming from the depot one hour prior then one hour back then a single airport transfer is at least a 3.5-4hr job. Adding the driver pre and post charter inspections then it’s a 6hr shift for the driver.
Clause 15(a) of the Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017 requires operators to ensure that buses are safe and roadworthy at all times. As part of that obligation, operators are required to ensure that daily pre and post shift safety checks of vehicles are undertaken to confirm the roadworthiness of each vehicle.
Accredited bus operators must ensure, as a condition of their accreditation, to have in place the appropriate systems and tools to reduce or eliminate the possibility or recurrence of bus safety incidents and accidents across NSW. The driver must undertake a thorough internal and external inspection of their vehicle as part of the sign-on and sign-off procedures.