Caution urged in state bus decisions
The Pennsylvania Bus Association wants to alert you to a troubling trend we are seeing across the United States regarding a new type of “bus company” primarily marketed to school districts. The problem is that these are not bus companies at all, but artfully created websites that imitate a bus company, using various names and websites. They do not own any buses or motorcoaches, or maintenance facilities, nor do they employ any drivers, mechanics, or typical support staff.
Simply a phenomenon of the internet, these “companies” are known as brokers and, once they capture someone’s business, they simply try to find a real, but unsuspecting bus company that will accept the trip. Savvy bus and motorcoach companies refuse business from brokers.
Their pattern of not paying bus companies or disclosing the details of a trip is, unfortunately, all too familiar.
Recently, we have seen school officials trying to find buses at the last minute because the contracted carrier (the broker) failed to deliver a bus. Brokers rarely disclose they are a broker, so the school official believes they have contracted with a real bus company.
In contrast, the association’s members consist of men and women business owners that make their home in Pennsylvania. We have invested in expensive buses, maintenance, and office facilities, and employee thousands of Pennsylvanians. Whether taking students on their first trip to Washington, D.C., a local museum or a school sporting event, Pennsylvania Bus Association’s member companies and their employees take immense pride in providing this transportation to our neighbors and communities.
A list of member bus and motorcoach companies domiciled in and, more important, invested in Pennsylvania with tangible assets and employees is on our website at www.pabus.org. We hope this information will go a long way toward avoiding canceled trips and disappointing students, senior citizens groups, and other members of the motoring public. We also hope that the motoring public remains vigilant and does not get duped by these brokers posing as legitimate bus companies.
Pattie Cowley is executive director of the Pennsylvania Bus Association.