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A party bus (also known as a party ride, limo bus, limousine bus, party van, or luxury bus) is a large motor vehicle usually derived from a conventional bus or coach, but modified and designed to carry 10 or more people for recreational purposes generally involving some kind of celebration, such as a birthday or graduation. Party buses are usually driven by chauffeurs.
Design and purpose
Party buses offer seating capacities ranging from 10 to 50 passengers, or even articulated buses with up to 69 seats. In some cases, these are converted van or minibus chassis, with some conversions done using urban coach or motor coach chassis. Amenities may include upgraded electrical systems, fast idle controller,[clarification needed] AM/FM stereo with CD player, power/heated remote control mirrors, power door locks and windows, upgraded seats and fabric, stripper poles, air actuated[clarification needed] passenger entry door, video and audio systems, luggage partitions, back-up cameras, smoke machines, laser lights, disco lights, strobe lights, toilet, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) equipment, and a different floor plans to suit varying needs.
Party buses are primarily used for weddings, proms and bachelor and bachelorette parties as well as round trips to casinos, nights on the town, personalized drop-offs and pick-ups at various bars and nightclubs, birthdays and city tours.
While some party buses are used for week-long tours and events, most are used for day trips and events. Most party buses, however, operate as a vehicle for hire, providing more accessible[clarification needed] competition to limousines and taxicabs.
In Europe, if the vehicle is under 3500 kg gross vehicle weight and can carry eight passengers or fewer, then it can be driven on a category B driving licence. Vehicles under 7500 kg GVW but still carrying eight passengers or fewer, then a category C1 Large Goods Vehicle licence is required. Vehicles carrying 16 passengers or fewer, regardless of the GVW weight, require a category D1 licence.
In the United States, any vehicle over 16 passengers, including the driver, requires a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a Passenger Endorsement. For intra-state operations, the operating company needs Operating Authority through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Companies that do business across state lines (inter-state) are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and are subject to additional federal regulations. For-hire operations are required to carry $5 million in liability insurance for vehicles of 16 or more passengers. Mini-buses or any vehicles that are less than 16 passengers require $1.5 million in liability insurance. Most states require a $25,000 surety bond to be filed with the state DMV for the first 3 years of being in business.
The rules above may refer to the regulations when the vehicle is being used on the public highway, local entertainment laws may dictate otherwise when the bus is stationary.
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