Bus and Van Charters

Columbia Transportation provides bus and van charter services. Quotes and reservations can be made by completing a request form.

Notice as of September 2022:

Please be aware that costs for charter services have recently increased due to the following factors:

  • Significant increase in fuel costs (diesel impacted far worse specifically)
  • Difficulty in hiring drivers thereby causing significant increase in salaries (despite this, all providers are still having difficulty returning back to pre-pandemic staffing)
  • Inflation impacts to both of the above as well as maintenance costs and parts

Columbia Transportation and its providers are experiencing difficulty in meeting demand due to driver shortages across the industry. As such, we recommend that where possible, requestors submit their requests with as much advance notice as is possible. Thank you for understanding.

Bus and Van Charters

  • Vehicles range from 11-passenger vans to 54-passenger coaches.
  • Charter requests should be submitted with as much advance notice as possible (at least 4-5 weeks prior) to ensure that vehicle(s) will be available.
  • Requesting services through Columbia Transportation ensures that all students, staff and faculty are covered under Columbia’s insurance agreements and standards.

Note: charter bus service providers are struggling to meet demand due to continued driver shortages. As such, they are requiring greater advance notice for all charter requests.


Note: Sponsored funds/grant funding is not accepted.

For Columbia University departments that can charge a chartstring:

Requestors do not have to create purchase orders as Transportation processes all invoices and bills customers monthly via ITF. The charges will appear on:

  • Account 65298 for consolidated ChartStrings
  • Account 65213 for non-consolidated ChartStrings

All charter services are billed electronically. There is no need for cash transactions at the time of service, as any additional services not previously quoted will be billed electronically. Tips are not required and are left to the discretion of the department.

In order not to be charged the full amount, cancellations must be made in writing by emailing [email protected] no less than 96 hours prior to the scheduled trip departure time.

For non-Columbia affiliates and private requestors (must have a CU sponsor) that cannot charge a chartstring:

Requestors must submit payment in check 7 business days in advance of event date or the reservation will be cancelled. The check should be made out to “The Trustees of Columbia University” with reference to Columbia Transportation and include the event date.

Charter Request Form

A Charter Request Form should be completed to obtain quote(s) for charter services. Upon receipt, Columbia Transportation will provide a quote within 2-3 business days.