Variously referred to as a party van, limousine bus, party ride, or luxury bus, a party bus is a large vehicle that is usually derived from a conventional coach or bus, but designed and modified to carry 10 or more people. It is mostly used for recreational purposes that generally involve some sort of celebration such as a graduation or birthday. Party buses are designed primarily to serve as a venue for any festivity, gathering, or activity on wheels’.
Purpose and design
A party bus offers a seating capacity that ranges from between 10 to 50 passengers- with articulated buses offering upwards of 69 seats. In some instances, these are converted minibus or van chassis, with some conversions performed using motor coach or urban coach chassis. Some of the amenities on offer include but are not limited to remote control power/heated mirrors, power door windows and locks, AM/FM stereo with a CD player, disco lights, laser lights, luggage partitions, upgraded fabric and seats, stripper poles, strobe lights, smoke machines, toilet, back-up cameras, audio and video systems, bar area with or without ice coolers, bells and whistles, cup holders, different floor plans to suit various needs etc.
Party buses are primarily used for bachelor and bachelorette parties, proms, weddings, as well as nights on the town, city tours, birthdays, personalized pick-ups and drop-offs at various nightclubs and bars, and round trips to casinos. And while most are used for day trips and events, some are used for week-long events and tours. However, there are those that operate as vehicles for hire thus providing more accessible competition to taxicabs and limousines.
Party buses are usually driven by chauffeurs and the vehicle rental price varies depending on many factors. For instance, some party bus rentals are known to charge on an hourly basis with the rate dependent on the day that the bus is hired out. Yet others offer a 5 hour minimum fixed rental rate with the excess being charged on an hourly rate. Generally, however, a vehicle that has a capacity of 30 passengers goes for a rate of about $400 during the first 4 hours. This amount may range from between $500 and $800 for 4 hours if the bus is to be used in large metro areas.
Some party bus rentals also offer optional bathroom amenities in the vehicle with the option going for an additional $100 on top of the agreed rental fee. Rental rates will likewise depend on other factors such as the use of the bus, size, locality where the bus company operates from, Friday or Saturday pricing, availability of the bus being rented, whether it will be a themed bus, and the number of hours the bus will be in use. Many companies also offer casino or club packages, which provide transportation to various venues along with complimentary admission. This is a particularly attractive option for bachelor/bachelorette parties.
For graduation celebrations and birthdays, party buses can also take the kids on a journey to a hall for a Sweet 16 celebration, to a beach or movie theatre, or even a local theme park. It seems the party never stops whilst on a party bus.