The coach providers provides public transport which means with busses with a minimum of 9 seats and a maximum of 90 passengers. They either provide a public transport service (under the French government authority), or a private transport service (which monTransport.com concerns).
The coach providers providing private transportation generally works with tour operators, travel agencies or groups for ponctual trips (tourism, event or transfert).
Their journey can be set from their pick up area to any points in the French national territory or in a foreign country.
The benefits :
- Personalised service
- Large range of vehicles (minibus and coach) and services
- Comfortable for long distances
The coach providers must have a special licence (licence de transport communautaire) to exercise this professional activity.
Their road map is established as part of the reservation contract.
The coach providers must subscribe an insurance for transporting passengers.
Their drivers must hold a French category D driver's license. The validity of a category D license, is only extended after a medical examination (every 5 years for drivers under 60 years old and every year for drivers over 60 years old).
The driver's working hours are strictly regulated.
Coaches must not surpass 90km/h on dual carriageways and 100km/h on motorways if they have ABS.
Reservation and Price
Coach providers are not restricted in terms of pricing. These companies are therefore free to quote their services and prices as part of the reservation contract with the client (group organiser).
There are 2 ways to reserve a coach provider :
- Either by contacting the transport provider directly.
- Or by using the monTransport.com platform
Using monTransport.com gives the opportunity to compare prices between different service providers and to select the best one according to your needs.
According to the traffic rules in France, coaches are busses meeting characteristics defined by the French Transport Ministry's decree, providing transportation of passengers over long-distances and allowing the transport in seating positions. These public transport vehicles are categorised M2 (maximum weight less than or equal to 5 tons) or M3 (maximum weight greater than 5 tons). The connected coaches are made up of at least 2 rigid sections joined together by connecting sections, which allow for passengers to move freely. The rigid sections being connected in a permanent way and can only be disconnected by an operation requiring specific equipments.
There are numerous coach and minibus manufacturers with all sorts of vehicles on the market. The brands often used are IrisBus, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Scania.
A little history
Coaches and busses succeeded the horse-drawn wagon for passenger transportation. They were developed after the First World War during a time influenced by very strong regulation (rail road coordination) and by the development of mass tourism with the creation of paid holiday (1936).
In 1937 the license to drive a coach or a bus became mandatory.
Following the interlude formed by the Second World War, a 1949 decree states that occasional transport services are those that are repeated at certain periods throughout the year, such as the tourist excursion services or which take place on the occasion of winter sports or of public events (sport related or others) repeated several times per year. The occasional transport services therefore contrast with one-off services such as transport services organised for mariage ceromonies or funerals.
Since 1982, the original national or community regulations profoundly modified the applicable set of legal rules for occasional services.
Two types of "occasional services" are outlined: services with the capacity of transporting more than 8 passengers (bus/coach providers) and services that can seat less than 8 passengers (light vehicles). The former require a "community drivers license" whereas the latter must hold a "national transportation license". Community transport is completely liberalised and even allows to take passengers abroad.