Contributed by Rachel Beyerle
If you’re planning a bus trip, thinking of taking a motorcoach tour, or chartering a bus for your group, you can now “look before you book” by using the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SaferBus app for the iPhone and iPad, available for free through Apple iTunes. This new app allows you to search by motorcoach company name or U.S. DOT number so that you can
- Find information on the company’s operating authority and insurance status,
- View the company’s safety record over the past 24 months, including driver fitness and fatigue data,
- See if the company has a satisfactory safety rating, and
- Report a complaint and connect to the FMCSA hotline number (888) DOT-SAFT (888) 368-7238.
Safety ratings are listed as percentiles with 0 (zero) being the best and 100 being the worst. For example, a value of 50% or less indicates that a company performed better than half of the other companies for the same safety factor. Travelers who do not have an iPhone or iPad can still check the safety status of a motorcoach operator by visiting the FMCSA website.
Overall, the SaferBus app is designed to help travelers make informed decisions before booking a trip and avoid companies that have been placed out of service or do not have operating authority. According to Anne S. Ferro, FMCSA administrator, "By placing a bus company's safety record in the palm of your hand, SaferBus encourages riders to think safety first, supports our agency's commitment to make bus travel as safe as possible, and provides good bus companies a way to highlight their positive safety records."
For more information on the SaferBus app, visit the FMCSA website.