Charter Information

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Current Size: 80%

What is charter service?

"Transportation provided by recipient at the request of a third party for the exclusive use of a bus or van for a negotiated price." As an example: Renting a transit bus to provide transportation for a wedding reception would be considered charter service using a bus.


Are there any conditions where the Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation (HDPT) can provide charter services?

There are several conditions where HDPT may be able to provide the requested charter service. Possible exceptions that would allow HDPT to provide service include:

  • Requesting party is a Qualified Human Service Organization (QHSO).
    • How do I find out if my organization is a QHSO?
      (add list to website/outline procedure for registering organization)
  • Federal, state, and local government officials (80 hours per agency annually) on official government business.
  • If no registered private charter company desires to provide services for the requested trip.

Procedure for notification of private providers regarding trip request:         

  • HDPT must notify all registered charter providers for the geographic area of any trip request that is received.
  • Private operators must indicate if they wish to provide service for the requested trip: 
    • Within 72 hours for any trip to be provided in less than 30 days. 
    • Within 14 calendar days for any trip to be provided in 30 days or more. 
    • If any private provider indicates a desire to provide the requested trip, HDPT is prohibited from performing the charter service. 
    • However, if no registered private provider responds to the request within the deadlines listed above, then HDPT may provide charter service.


How likely is it that no private company will want to provide charter service?

Since the regulations governing the charter services are relatively new, we don’t know how likely private providers are going to be to respond to requests. However, there are currently over one hundred providers listed for our geographic area, so it is probably likely that one of the private companies would be willing to provide the trip. Since the likelihood of a private company choosing to provide service is so high, HDPT recommends that individuals desiring charter service use the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Charter Service Search Tool.

In response to charter regulations promulgated by the FTA effective April 30, 2008, significant alterations to the ability of HDPT to provide charter service have occurred. In general the Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation is precluded from providing charter service by federal regulations if a private charter company is willing to provide transportation.

To find a private charter company follow the link below to the FTA's Charter Service Search Tool: 

FTA Charter Service Search