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Five Tips for Planning Successful Charters


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Convenience and togetherness combine when choosing a private trolley or double decker bus for weddings, birthdays and business events

Chicago, Ill. May 14, 2009 A privately chartered Chicago Trolley or Double Decker bus can add an authentic Chicago experience for everyone included, whether an event centers around social occasions or business happenings. To help planners get the best service, value and reliability from a charter company, the professionals at Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company, the largest single-city fleet in the United States , has compiled the top five tips for better chartering.

We have a dedicated team in place to ensure that private parties and groups feel well entertained, well taken care of, safe, and satisfied, said John A. Curran, vice president of charter sales and marketing for the Chicago-based transportation company.

Curran draws from numerous years of experience leading charter sales for the 75-vehicle company that handles groups of 10 to 10,000 guests. During his career, Curran has coordinated private charters for countless weddings and social groups, as well as large-scale events. The Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company has provided expertly executed service for world-watched events such as Barack Obama's victory celebration in Grant Park, the Chicago White Sox team's World Series parade, and a champions motorcade for the 150-member 2008 U.S. Olympic team as they prepared to tape The Oprah Winfrey Show. Drawing from all of these experiences, Curran has compiled the top five tips for those planning private transportation.

1. Clearly spell out your schedule and what is involved in detail
Ensure that the charter company both hears and understands your expectations, and knows what hours the driver must be available to the group. A wedding runs on a very tight schedule, while a pub crawl might run a more fluid schedule, stopping and staying at favorite watering holes for different lengths of time. For some groups, a pick up and drop off time is the only scheduling that needs to occur. Knowing what occasion or need the event revolves around, and having some knowledge about participants expected can help a charter company provide the best possible advice, and ultimately service.

2. Determine the number of vehicles in the company's fleet
Overall charter fleet size is important and also provides some insight into the success of the company. Fleet size provides a gauge regarding the operator's ability to supply alternate vehicles in the event of a mechanical problem. Larger fleets have a better ability to plan for contingencies and planners can enjoy a level of comfort that wouldn�t be available with small fleets. For multi-vehicle movements, continuity of the look, or aesthetics, of group transport is important. With the large fleet at Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company, planners can choose to have two or 40 trolleys that all look alike. And finally, when booking events during busy weekends and peak seasons, planners benefit from large fleet operations that can provide flexibility in vehicle numbers should attendance rise unexpectedly.

The Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company offers 75 vehicles, available in three styles for private use: The San Francisco-style Trolleys, the open-air Double Decker Buses, and the limo-style Land Yacht motorcoach. (Vehicle descriptions below.)

3. Research the charter company's history and reputation
Find out when the company was established, and how long it has been offering charter services. A good track record is always desirable. Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company has steadily grown, from eight vehicles in 1994 to 75 today. Having won Chicago's Visitors Choice Awards for Best Tours and Service, and having hosted transportation for numerous nationally televised events, the company has proven its reliability and quality. Ask for references or seek online blogs, videos, etc. posted to describe customers' experiences.

4. Request a Certificate of Insurance
Every carrier should supply a Certificate of Insurance. This certificate shows the carrier's levels of insurance and effective policy dates. Accepted levels of insurance call for a minimum of $5 million for combined single-limit liability.

5. Identify special needs that require extra attention
If one or more of your guests is elderly or otherwise inhibited from boarding and departing via steps, ensure that the charter company offers ADA compliance in their transportation vehicles. The comfort and convenience of all guests is of utmost importance.


The Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Company vehicles all offer uniformed, professional and courteous tour guides/drivers, centrally dispatched communications, on board P.A. systems for toasts and announcements, and stereo sound systems for personal musical entertainment. Food and beverage refreshments are allowed on all vehicles (restrictions and fees apply).

The Authentic Chicago Trolley with solid oak and brass interiors offer etched windows, open sides or enclosable windows for enjoyment throughout the year and a 32-passenger capacity. Wheelchair accessibility is available with advanced notice. The Chicago Trolleys are heated for cool weather and open and fun in summer.

The Open Top Chicago Double Decker bus is a great option that allows a birds-eye view and fresh air travels. The lower level is enclosed so those that want protection from sun and wind can enjoy the ride. The Chicago Double Decker's can carry approximately 70 passengers.

The Land Yacht Powered by Chicago Trolley provides a stylish and comfortable mode of transportation that's perfect for traveling to ball games or concerts with a group. The vehicle features three flat screen monitors, surround sound audio, and lounge seating for 24 guests. A microwave and built-in coolers plus two tables with booth seating provide a relaxing environment to gather. The vehicle is fully heated and air-conditioned and offers a bathroom on board.

Book now and receive $100 off any Saturday wedding that falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Book any wedding and receive $100 off other wedding-related transportation (rehearsal dinner shuttle, bachelor(ette) parties, etc.). For information on private charter rentals, call Charter Sales at 773-648-5000 or visit .