FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does your group have any special needs?
Blue Lakes Charters and Tours offers motorcoaches equipped with DVD monitors. In addition to other fine features such as restrooms, climate control and reclining seats, to name a few.
How long has the company has been in the charter highway motorcoach business?
Blue Lakes Charters and Tours was incorporated in 1989, however the family has been in the motorcoach business for over 35 years. Some companies have been in the "bus" business for years, but they count years of taking children to schools in school buses, so they have very little experience in cross country travel.
What is Blue Lakes ICC and DOT numbers.
Our Michigan Department of Transportation License is #PA-207 and the ICC License is #MC-228157.
What is the company's DOT safety rating?
Blue Lakes is rated satisfactory, the highest rating the Department of Transportation gives to companies. NEVER CHARTER FROM A COMPANY WITH AN UNSATISFACTORY RATING. If the company has not been rated, do you want to risk your group's safety with a company that hasn't been through the strict audit guidelines of the Federal Department of Transportation?
The Federal Highway Administrations Office of Motor Carriers is 1-800-832-5660.
Is Blue Lakes certificate of insurance available?
Blue Lakes Charters and Tours is insured for $5 million for combined single-limit liability. A copy of our Certificate of Insurance is available upon request and is required by law.
Can you supply some references?
Upon request, numerous references can be supplied from a wide assortment of satisfied customers from from school and church groups to the U.S. Government.
How many highway motorcoaches are in the Blue Lakes fleet.
At this time there are 58 motorcoaches in our fleet. Some companies count school buses or city transit-type buses in their fleet count. We have the largest charter fleet operating in the state of Michigan. Our business is the motorcoach business and it is not secondary to any other business.
Is the company adhering to Department of Transportation driver regulations?
A company's DOT safety rating will give you a good indication how the company is following the DOT driver regulations. The DOT limits drivers to 10 hours of driving or 15 hours of total on duty service per day. If your itinerary requires service above that limit, a driver change would be made enroute to insure all safety measures are met.
What are Blue Lakes procedures for on-the-road emergencies.
If these circumstances arise, being members of the United Motorcoach Association enables us to get service, replacement equipment and/or a driver in a very timely manner. We also have good communications and experience with other companies in various states that would be willing to help if the need should ever arise.
Is the company available for inspections?
You can feel free to inspect our motorcoach equipment, offices and general garage facilities before finalizing any arrangements if you so desire. We do ask that an appointment is made to guarantee equipment will be here for inspection. If a company does not have a full-service staffed facility, you should ask how repairs are made and question how often preventative maintenance is performed.
What type of equipment is available for charter?
Blue Lakes Charters and Tours offer coaches for every need. Our fleet consisted of 56 passenger, 32 passenger lounge coaches, 31 passenger Mid-Size bus, 25 Passenger Bus (Traverse City Area Only) and specialty Limo coach. All coaches are routinely inspected and checked by the preventative maintenance personnel to help insure against failure. Blue Lakes offers ADA wheelchair capabilities on certain 56 & 27 passenger buses.
Are video-equipped motorcoaches available?
Yes, all of our coaches have DVD player and monitors, AM-FM CD stereo and public address system. Available Wi-Fi by request, please inquire with our sales team about Wi-Fi rates.
Does the company have a drug and alcohol screening program in place for tier employees?
Yes, all drivers at Blue Lakes have pre-employment drug and alcohol screening. In addition, our insurance
carrier does random selections at various times throughout the year. The test used is a 5 step NIDA Drug Screen.
Who pays for the driver's hotel?
We offer quotes based on our paying lodging cost or with the group paying the hotel direct. It is up to the tour planner's discretion.
Who is responsible for extra mileage above the contracted amount?
The best way to avoid this problem is to have a complete itinerary prior to the quotation being provided. However, if plans change during the course of the trip, arrangements can be made between the chartering party and our office for additional mileage costs.
What type of training program is in place for drivers?
Blue Lakes has an intensive training course, including hours of classroom and behind-the-wheel training, prior to being put on the road to service our clients.
Is the carrier a full service company?
Blue Lakes Charters and Tours is the "best" service company. We believe in and are committed to Total Quality Management, Professional Drivers, Safety, Reliability, Comfortability and Economical Dependability. We pride ourselves in providing top-notch service from quotations and contracts to a full service 24 hour maintenance facility and will assist with special needs such as hotel accommodations, meals, attractions, etc. Just ask!
Book your equipment EARLY!
One year in advance is NOT too early to insure equipment needs and assistance in planning a well run program.