One of the biggest challenges trip organizers can face once they charter a coach is collecting money from dozens of individuals or their parents.
In addition to collecting payments from individuals, there’s also dispersing information and gathering release forms.
Those challenges are solved with BusRates.com’s new Group Leader Program. It allows operators to establish a web link for the group leader to send their trip participants, making it easy to pay with a credit card, provide information and sign releases — all on a secure online platform.
“We now offer a modern tool that allows the charter customer to quickly and easily make individual payments. It also allows the trip organizer, as well as the bus operator, to track those payments. After that is complete, 48 hours before departure, the funds are released to the operator’s bank account,” said Roxana Melgar, BusRates.com General Manager.
Generating new business
The BusRates website allows users to generate new business at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. The website was relaunched in 2021 with upgraded technology to help United Motorcoach Association (UMA) Members grow and provide operators and vendor members with critical information.
The best part of the BusRates program is the trip web page can be shared with the traveling group.
UMA board Chair David Moody was the first to test out the Group Leader Program.
“It was easy to create the trip. It was easy for people to sign up, and the money flow worked the way it was supposed to,” said Moody, General Manager of his family’s third-generation business, Holiday Tours in Randleman, North Carolina.
“It makes it so much easier for the group leader. And from the bus operator’s perspective, it’s a guaranteed payment. You don’t have to wonder about that group being late with the money. It’s just all automatic, so there’s no worries.”
While similar software technology is available for group tour operators, Moody says this new tool will save BusRates subscribers making that investment.
Easy to use
Those who attended the UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Long Beach California, in late February had a chance to learn about the new complimentary BusRates.com tool. Melgar presented several sessions explaining how it works and answering operators’ questions.
Operators were surprised by how easy it is to use.
“It’s not the operators’ job to sell the seats. All they do is create a page that has trip information, such as the trip departure and return date, and dates for individuals to make a payment,” Melgar said.
The program is geared toward teachers, coaches, youth group leaders, church secretaries and other organizers tasked will collecting payments for trips.
It also enhances the motorcoach operators’ professional image.
“It’s still the group leader’s responsibility to inform the participants, or their parents/guardians, obtain required permission forms, and collect the money. It also creates a professional image for the operator by adding value for the charter customer at no additional cost to the charter bus company or trip organizer,” Melgar said. “There’s a portal that’s going to take them where they need to go. The operator that offers the Group Leader Program to their prospective charter customers has a competitive advantage when they make the task of organizing the trip so much easier, and better solutions for your customer always leads to more business.”
Operators may sign up here: https://busop.busrates.com/#/login
Provide this link for your group leaders to use the platform: https://gl.busrates.com/#/login