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Ditch the school bus

Getting kids from one place to the next can be a massive undertaking, made even more overwhelming when you’ve got a large group of them to deal with.

Pack those kids into a traditional school bus, with its sticky vinyl seats and stomach-churning suspension, and it usually doesn’t take long for things to get out of hand.

But for schoolteachers, there’s no avoiding large group trips. Sports teams need to get to their games; bands to their recitals; and elementary classes to the Vernon Science Centre for their field trips.

One Kelowna company has a solution to teachers’ school bus blues, and it appears to be catching on.

Corinne Underwood is the director of business development at BlueStar Coachlines. She says that, with their on-board perks and relative affordability, coach companies like BlueStar are beginning to emerge as an alternative to the traditional school trip transportation methods.

Underwood explains that, unlike school buses, motorcoaches foster a calm and comfortable environment, with on-board perks like complimentary wifi, reclining seats, fully equipped entertainment systems, iPhone jacks, and onboard washrooms.

She also points out that school groups won’t necessarily have to pay out their ears to charter one, especially when compared to other school-bus alternatives.

She calls BlueStar’s fleet of motorcoaches “the next generation of travel,” and says school groups are beginning to recognize their advantages.

In an effort to avoid the bus, school clubs or sports teams will sometimes pass the buck to parents, splitting the kids into small groups to be ferried away in their moms’ minivans.

But Underwood says there are some serious drawbacks to that strategy.

For one, putting a group of noisy, excited kids in a fleet of separate cars is trying for the parents behind the wheel. Plus, having that many more vehicles on the road increases the chance of an accident--especially in winter driving conditions.

Underwood says BlueStar’s drivers are expertly trained to handle anything B.C roads throw at them, and the company’s sterling safety record reflects that.

Why not, she says, keep all the kids together in a warm and comfortable motorcoach, avoiding straggling travellers and bolstering the excitement?

She says there’s a real benefit to keeping everyone together, because it can add to the excitement of the trip, or help the build the camaraderie needed for a sports team to gel.

Underwood points out that BlueStar has a fleet of coaches–ranging from an-11 seat sprinter, through to a 27-seat executive class motorcoach, a 48-seat motorcoach, and more than 20 56-seat coaches–so it can handle groups of virtually any size.

BlueStar understands what school groups are looking for when they’re planning group trips. The professionalism of our uniformed drivers and the convenience of our coaches is leading many to try our service,” Underwood says.

For more information on motorcoaches, or for a closer look at BlueStar Coachline’s fleet, check out the company online.

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