How to Succeed as a Bus Driver

Happy Bus Driver Greeting Passengers

Do you enjoy driving? Are you good when it comes to finding your way around out on the road? Is safety your No. 1 concern when you’re behind the wheel? If you answered “yes” to all these questions, you might make a great bus driver.

Northwest Bus Sales has highlighted several qualities that will help you succeed as a bus driver.

 You Must Be Personable

When people walk onto a bus, it helps them to see a friendly face behind the wheel. Many passengers expect the bus driver to interact a bit and make traveling fun. Whether you’re driving people across town or across several states, you should be friendly and personable. As a bus driver, you want to be someone that passengers would like to see again.

Cool, Calm, and Collected

Driving a bus can be a lot of fun but it can also be stressful. As a bus driver, you’re going to need to be able to deal with everything from terrible weather conditions and angry passengers to road rage and, of course, traffic. You need to be prepared to take care of whatever your job throws at you and handle it in a calm and collective matter.

Remain Punctual

The people who climb aboard your bus need you to be able to get them from point A to point B safely. They also need you to be able to do it in a timely fashion. If you say you’re going to show up somewhere at 10 a.m., you should be there at 10 a.m., if not earlier. And if you say you can take people somewhere by 5 p.m., they need to arrive no later than 5 p.m. Being punctual will be a big part of your job. Although traffic and life in general can result in delayed buses, it’s important that time management matters to you.

Looking to purchase a bus for your fleet? Northwest Bus Sales has a huge inventory of new and used buses. Call us at 800-231-7099 today!

How to Handle Bus Travel with Children

Family Trip on Large Bus

Traveling by bus is a simple and convenient way to travel, however when you add children into the mix, doing so can get a bit more complicated.

Northwest Bus Sales is offering several suggestions on how to handle bus traveling with children for a smooth, fun ride.

Do Your Research

Compare bus lines for ticket prices and see if you can find discounts for children in their appropriate age group. Depending on where you live, children under a certain age might even be free. Keep in mind that children are often considered adult travelers when they reach a certain age so keep that in mind when shopping for tickets.

Look up reviews to find out how child-friendly a bus line is. Find out if the bus has seatbelts or if you can bring a child safety seat on the bus.

Pack Some Entertainment

Bus rides are often longer compared to other forms of travel, with buses making multiple stops along the journey. Providing various forms of entertainment for your children on the bus ride will help to keep them occupied.

Consider coloring books and handheld electronic games to keep young minds occupied. Don’t forget to download some movies to keep them busy if you have the technology to do so. Keeping children busy will make the bus ride go smoothly and make the trip more comfortable.

Remember Bus Safety

Go over some bus safety tips with your children prior to boarding the bus. Remind them to remain seated while the bus is moving, and if there are seatbelts, encourage them to put them on.

Be sure to pack some water and snacks as well as blankets in the event of an unscheduled stop. The more safety tips you review with your child prior to traveling, the easier bus travel will be.

For over 31 years now Northwest Bus Sales has been providing new buses for sale and used buses for sale in the Northwest. Contact us today to get more information.

European Buses Experiment with Uber Characteristics

Woman Using Smart Phone Riding on Buss

Europe is combining six, 17-seat low-emission minibuses with the concept of Uber to create a new mode of transportation called PickMeUp, Oxford Bus Company’s new “Uber for buses” service.

The PickMeUp app and service officially launched in June 2018 as the new public way to travel in Oxford by bus.

Residents simply download the PickMeUp app and order a bus to a virtual stop on demand; they set up the pick-up and drop-off points within the app’s chosen zone and add extra passengers as applicable. Users can see their route and estimated time of arrival on the app.

The route covers 12.2 square miles, picking up passengers in east Oxford and covering stops including Oxford Station, Oxford Science Park, Oxford Business Park, hospitals, and Brookes University. Taking PickMeUp costs £2.50 (about $3.29) and the price doubles if you take a trip that could be made using an existing bus route.

Each minibus contains Wi-Fi, USB charging points, and wheelchair access. Although the service does not go door-to-door like Uber drivers do, it does promise to pick up passengers anywhere in the east of Oxford in under 10 minutes and includes 1,906 stops. Not tied to existing bus stops, these unique minibuses reach new parts of the city, offering a new alternative to driving to work. PickMeUp offers public transportation that is significantly quicker and cheaper than other forms of transports.

By encouraging people to use public transportation, PickMeUp offers the chance to lower traffic congestion and improve air quality, something cities across the U.S could benefit from. Will “Uber for buses” soon appear in a city near you?

While you wait for the PickMeUp system to find its way to the U.S., check out new and used buses for sale from Northwest Bus Sales, offering over 27 years of great quality buses perfect for those in the tour and charter market and for schools, churches, retirement homes, and more.

How to Make Your Bus Stop a Better Place

Group of People Waiting for Bus at Bus Stop

We here at Northwest Bus Sales talk a lot about buses: why they’re eco-friendly and efficient; why they’re getting more attention from cities and organizations alike; and why they’re great for any group travel occasion.

However, what largely goes under the radar is where you get on and off the bus itself: the bus stop! And how that bus stop looks, and feels, can largely impact your overall bus experience.

Luckily, there are several bus stop pioneers out there who are rethinking what a bus stop means to its local community and how to improve them.

Here are a few examples of what they did to improve this vital transit space:

Link the Bus Stop to Bikes

We need to see our bus network as connected to other transit systems, whether it’s subway or light rail (if that’s available), private cars, or, most importantly, bikes. Many commuters use their bikes for what’s called the “last mile” — that ride home from the nearest bus stop, that is faster by wheel than foot. So make your bus stop respond to that: try to encourage neighbors to get behind the installation of a bike rack, which can invite bike riders to use the stop more often. And if you’re really feeling creative, add a bike repair stall, with an air valve for refueling included.

Make the Bus Stop an Inviting Space

For this step, take your inspiration from local parks and public spaces: why do you like to spend there? Is it the benches? The tables? Or the general welcoming atmosphere? Whatever you think it is, add it to your bus stop. Maybe install a bench or table, so people can enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation as they wait for their bus. Or maybe more greenery, so it’s not a drab blight on the community and offer a sweet spot to sit.

Incorporate a Unique Feature

This is one of our favorite ideas: if you’re waiting for the buses, why not have a book you can read? Like a dentist’s office, it always helps to have reading material around to pass the time. A number of bus stops nationwide now feature free libraries, where people take a book, and leave a book. It can also be donation-based. (Because we all know that we have some extra books lying around.) Why not allow others to enjoy them?

Whatever your inspiration is, improving your bus stop is a great community-building project, that will allow you to meet your neighbors, work collaboratively, and create a space that you all love.

At Northwest Bus Sales, Inc., we love hearing the different approaches to bus travel out there which is why we offer a diverse inventory of models. Contact us today for any questions or concerns you may have!

The Rare Reason More People are Buying Buses

Retro Bus Filled with People

There are several reasons why people are buying buses at record clips right now. As we mentioned previously on our blog, cities are looking to buses once again to expand their mass transit networks as urban centers rapidly grow.

In the era of rideshare, people are more often looking for cost-effective ways to transport large groups of people, even if they don’t know one another. Group travel is 2018’s transit trend, and we’re fully behind it. But there’s another reason why more people are buying buses that has recently arisen and it’s one that is so interesting and unique, it’s worth mentioning.

As it turns out, there’s a growing population of customers who are buying buses to live in them.

Stories from all over are flooding in about riders who are buying buses, and converting them into refurbished homes for travel and leisure. And the pictures are staggering: a man in Long Island, NY, took a school bus, and turned it into a beach-themed living space, while other people across America have turned them into aesthetic spectacles, with brand new wooden designs, housing installments, and other incredible ideas that have us stunned.

In an age of record travel and the newfound ability to work from anywhere, this trend has become such a force that there are now “how-to” guides for converting school buses into living spaces. And surprisingly enough, it doesn’t require too much work—which is probably why it’s become such an appealing option for people.

We almost can’t believe what we’ll see next. If you’re interested in this new trend, then Las Vegas Bus Sales has the resources for you. We offer a wide variety of buses fit for any occasion, and are happy to work with you to find a bus perfect for you. Contact us today!

Bus Travel Popularity Increases in Seattle

Bus Travel Popularity Increases in Seattle

When you think of Seattle, you probably think about coffee or the Space Needle, but these days, two other words might come to mind: public transportation.

Seattle is experiencing an influx of new citizens and they are all looking to the Metro systems to get them where they need to go.

If you are still unsure of how big bus travel really is in Seattle, then all you need to do is look towards the numbers. The fact of the matter is that Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country with nearly a quarter million new jobs and a population that has grown by over 15 percent since 2010.

Not only are there more people but they have also made their travel preferences known. Studies show that commuters opting to drive private vehicles in the downtown area has declined by 10 percent since 2010, and instead, King County Metro in Seattle has seen an 8 percent increase in bus riders.

Currently, there are approximately 250 buses traveling across some of the busiest corridors in the city during the busiest hours of rush hour which amounts to around two buses every minute. These buses carry approximately 52,000 passengers every day, meaning there is essentially a seat for everyone.

The increase in buses is just one piece of the puzzle that city officials are putting in place to decrease the amount of traffic that is caused by the astounding amount of people that are moving into the state every year.

Many of the most popular streets have been modified to give the advantage to bus travel and lighten the traffic caused by private vehicles. On Third Avenue, cars are banned from traveling on all four lanes during rush hour. Meanwhile, the southbound lanes of Second Avenue and the northbound lane of Fourth are also off limits during these times.

The fact of the matter is that Seattle officials have seen that the population is rising and they have been pulling out all of the stops to help these people get to the jobs that they treasure. The great thing is that the citizens are showing their appreciation and the ridership numbers are proof.

Here at Northwest Bus Sales, we are glad to do what we can to assist in Seattle’s transportation endeavors with our selection of coach buses, transit buses, and shuttle buses. We believe that bus travel is the best travel and we would love for you to come by the lot and see our selection.

Traveling to Seattle: Where to Go, What to See

Traveling to Seattle: Where to Go, What to See

Seattle is one of the most recognizable cities in the world, and for great reason. With so much to see and do, it can be hard to figure out what to do next.

We have come up with a quick guide that details some of the best attractions that you simply cannot miss while sightseeing in Seattle this summer!

Space Needle

One of Seattle’s most recognizable sights is the famous space needle. Constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair, this 605-foot tall attraction is an epic sight and it offers a lot of photo opportunities along with the SkyCity restaurant, an observation deck, and fun, interactive displays.

Seattle Aquarium

There is nothing like bringing the family to the city aquarium, and Seattle offers just that with over 380 species of birds, fish, invertebrates and marine mammals to adore all year long. Attractions at the aquarium include Edge tide pool, the chance to talk with professional divers, and a famous underwater dome so you can see what the fish see!

CenturyLink Field

If you are a sports fan, then you should plan ahead and buy tickets to attend a game at the famous CenturyLink Field. Both the NFL team the Seattle Seahawks and Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders call this place home. The park offers a wide range of concessions, the ability to take in the breathtaking Olympic mountain range and a great view of the game from every seat.

Pike Place Market

If you really want to experience the local flair of Seattle, then you need to check out the famous Pike Place Market. This expansive shopping experience has two floors full of fish, fruit, vegetables, and tasty treats for every acquired taste. If you don’t want to purchase food from a booth, then dine in one of the many restaurants.

Museum of Pop Culture

If you like movies, television and comic books, then you will also enjoy the Museum of Pop Culture. The museum offers a ton of exhibits including those dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, the history of guitars, and a bunch of famous movie costumes.

The best way to absorb the sights in Seattle is via an enjoyable bus ride because it allows you to really take in the architecture and the people that make this area so great. At Northwest Bus Sales, we know all about the best buses for every trip. Contact us today to learn more.

Seattle Leading the Way with Increase in Transit Ridership

Seattle Leading the Way with Increase in Transit Ridership

When it comes to public transit, the city of Seattle is in a good place.

Recent studies have shown that the citizens of the city are utilizing public transport in record numbers. In 2017 alone, the Metro bus system transported a record 122.2 million riders, the Sound Transit Link light rail system carried a record 23.2 million riders, and 9.6 million passengers chose the Metro-operated Sound Transit Express service.

When it comes to these popular forms of transport, the people have made their voices heard, and the city has listened.

Per King County Executive, Dow Constantine: “People wanted more bus and light rail options, and we delivered. More service means more riders. From operators to transit planners and engineers, we are focusing our energy and resources to meet the demand, and we will deploy more bus service and other innovations on the streets this year and beyond, including more connections to light rail as we further expand the regional network.”

The city’s transportation services can only improve from here, and officials look forward to continued expansion. The new budget going into 2018 will include $30 million that will be attached to any crowding, reliability and service expansion needs.

In addition, this money will go towards an increase of 300,000 annual hours of bus service while also improving weekday all-day service to 10-minutes or better. The funds will also go towards encouraging youngsters to take public transit with the Youth ORCA Program that ORCA cards to teens that are income-eligible.

As far as the various other forms of mass transit are concerned, the numbers speak for themselves with the RapidRide A-F lines seeing an increase of 4.2 percent, light rail ridership up 22 percent over 2016, and 75 percent of morning commuters reporting that they now use trains, buses, bikes, and vanpools as their chosen route of travel each and every day.

Here at Northwest Bus Sales, we have been emphasizing the importance of public transportation for the past 27 years. We sell new and used school, shuttle and trolley buses for the many tour and charter markets in Seattle. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Beat Bus Ride Blues with our Long Distance Travel Tips

Beat Bus Ride Blue with Our Long Distance Travel Tips

Tourist travel by bus allows the entire group to stay together so that you don’t have to worry about waiting around for anyone to catch up or arrive at your final destination. But there can be some challenges that come along with taking long distance trips, and we want to help you conquer them.

Beat your bus ride blues with a few of our long distance travel tips below.

Designate an Activities Coordinator

Sitting on a bus for hours at a time would cause anyone to get stir crazy. That’s why it’s a good idea for groups to elect an unofficial “activity’s coordinator” for the trip. This person should be the go-to for games and entertainment, and of course, they should like to create a welcoming, social atmosphere for the trip. This person should stock-up on travel board games for adults and verbal icebreakers that partners can do in their seats, maybe even a group ebook session that makes it easier to connect with each other.

Take Pit Stops and Explore New Turf

One of the best parts about traveling long distances by bus as opposed to plane is that you can stop every so often to check out a place you’ve never been. We suggest downloading a reputable travel app that allows you to make check-ins, stay on route, and find maps of the cities you visit. Before you start taking your long-distance trip, you should see which cities and towns are located between you and your final destination. Try to arrange to stop in at least a few of them so that you can get a taste for what the local culture is like before heading back on the road.

Keep Multiple Head Counts

When you’re getting on and off a bus multiple times, there’s a chance someone could end up getting left behind at a rest stop or restaurant without anyone noticing. You should put one person in charge of taking a roll call before your bus departs after each stop. It will ensure you don’t have to go back and pick someone up once you’ve left.

At Northwest Bus Sales, we provide transportation companies, tourist groups, and wanderlust individuals with the buses they need to take enjoyable long distance bus trips.

Find your ride today.

Tips for Traveling with Seniors

Tips for Traveling with Seniors

Traveling with senior citizens can present unique challenges. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling by air, boat, bus, or some other form of transportation. You are going to want to take the proper precautions to ensure seniors arrive at their final destination safely.

Here are a few tips for senior travel that will make it possible.

Give yourself extra time when traveling with seniors.

When you are planning a trip that will include one or more senior citizens, you are going to want to make sure you adjust your schedule accordingly to allow for extra time for getting to and from places; doing something as simple as maneuvering up a set of stairs can take a significant amount of time for a senior. If you fail to pad your schedule with the time you need, you will often find yourself running behind and you could end up missing reservations along the way.

Keep accessibility in mind at all times when traveling with seniors.

While some senior citizens are still able to walk up steps and walk longer distances in general, others will require accommodations when traveling. For example, a senior with a walker or cane will likely not be able to walk all the way across an airport and might need to catch a shuttle or be seated in a wheelchair. You want to make sure accessibility options are available and that your senior will be able to keep up with you.

Consider traveling with seniors by bus whenever possible.

While it’s not impossible to travel by air or boat with a senior, the easiest way to travel with seniors is by bus. Some buses come equipped with wheelchair lifts that make it simple for seniors to get in and out. They may also have restrooms that can be used by seniors at any time. They can fit up to 56 or more people, and everyone will be comfortable when you travel by bus.

Whether you are planning a trip for a senior group or an outing for a retirement home, buses are your best bet. Northwest Bus Sales can provide you with the buses you need to travel safely with seniors. All of our buses are inspected for safety and will prove to be ideal for senior travelers. Call us at 800-231-7099 today to find out about the buses we have in stock.