Snow stops everyone
Snow can mess up any transportation plans. In Chicago, we are over double the amount of snow we get all winter and it is only the second week of February. The snow slows everything down or even stops it. There are delays at airports, train station, and in all ground transportation. You need to be ready for this possibility when you plan transportation in the winter months. This means being patient, planning for the extra travel time, and the possibility of being stuck somewhere.
The timing of a snow storm can affect how many delays you will encounter. Snow at any time will make roads messy and delay travel times. Heavier snow can close roads quickly. If the snow storm comes during the rush hour travel periods, that means that snow plows are stuck in traffic just like everyone else and makes everything slow down even more. Nothing is easy once the snow hits. You need to remember that the vehicles you hired are most likely stuck in the same snow storm as you. Many transportation companies will have the driver’s head out earlier if they can but your vehicle may be coming from a previous assignment. If this is the case, they may already be late returning from that one which makes them even later to your pick-up.
Once on-board you can expect extended travel times and to be delayed further until the weather gets better and the roads are cleared. Just because your vehicle has made it to the pick-up does not change the conditions of the weather or roads.
Many have said don’t buses handle better in snow than cars. In most cases with an experienced driver that is true but you need to remember that they are in the traffic with everyone else that are in cars that are spinning out or forced to go very slow in the conditions. The bus can’t just put out wings and fly over all the delays. Chances are that all of your guests may not be at the pick-up point either.
Once the vehicle gets to you and picks up your guests. Unless it has stopped snowing and all the roads have been cleared of the snow and any accidents, you will still have delays. Plan on extra travel time to your destination. Don’t pressure the driver to drive quicker in the unsafe weather. You need to realize that the driver is in charge at that point and will not do anything that will endanger your passengers. If that means it will take 30 minutes to cover the same distance that would have taken 15 minutes in clear weather, then so be it.
When we say getting stuck, we are not talking about sliding off into a ditch on a snowy road. No, we are talking more of when you come out of your event to head back to the pick-up point. If the snow has kept up heavy enough, more roads may be closed and you may not be able to leave where you are. If you are in a rural area, they may have limited plows and only able to keep the main roads clear and not the ones where your destination is located. It is a possibility that if you were somewhere for several hours, the vehicle may even be trapped in its’ parking spot by more snow or wind-blown snow drifts. Most vehicles are not equipped shovels as no company expects vehicles to be snowed in while in service. Your vehicle could also be blocked in by smaller vehicles that are not able to get out of their parking spots. Maybe the venue has someone that comes in and plows their lot and you will have to wait for that truck to get there and clear your path.
In rare cases like what happened in Atlanta recently, you may be in as area that is not used to getting snow and they have no way to clear the roads so instead they may close them all and restrict your travel.
There are several scenarios that can affect your travel during a snowstorm; the main item to keep in your head is that you have to be patient. You and your guests are not the only ones that are being inconvenienced by this, everyone in the area is.