How To Start A Children’s Transportation Business

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Image of children on a bus

The Ins and Outs of Start A Children’s Transportation Business

Children’s Transportation Business Overview:

A typical day may require you to pick up several kids and take them to preschool. Later you may need to take kids to little league soccer or baseball practice, or to karate class or even a dentist appointment, etc.

This type of service is required for any child activity that does not provide its own form of transportation. It is also a child-centered alternative to public transportation or a taxi.

Considerations:

You will need to consider several things before starting. First, decide on the type and size of vehicle you will need. Mini-vans are easy to handle but limit the number of passengers. Small buses can carry many passengers but may require special licensing to operate.

Next, consider your area. Heavily populated areas like inner cities give access to large numbers of clients and shorter distances to travel, however, you will have to deal with more traffic.

Licenses:
  • You will also need a clean driver’s license and possibly a chauffeur’s license and background check.
  • You will need insurance on your vehicle and possible commercial vehicle insurance and licenses.
  • See Our Page on Licenses and Permits
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
Skill Set:
  • Record all instances of pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Work with parents to develop schedules
  • Organize trips to accommodate clients
  • Develop excellent driving skills
  • Develop good time management skills
  • Acquire CPR and other emergency or first aid training
  • Patience, with children and traffic
  • Ability to work under pressure (such as in a traffic jam with several noisy, screaming, or crying kids)
  • Keep accurate logs of time and mileage
  • List of Common Business Skills
Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
  • A reliable and safe vehicle that meets all safety requirements
  • Maps and/or GPS unit
  • Additional vehicles, vans
  • In-vehicle radio/dispatch communication equipment and service
  • Handicap capable vehicles (if serving special needs)
  • Essential Office Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:

In addition to our list of common business expenses, you’ll require a budget for the ongoing cost of vehicle maintenance, and consistent cleaning as well as your fuel cost.

Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

General Hours of Operation: This business has variable workday hours that usually coincide with school hours. Some businesses also run all summer long, taking kids to camp and other activities.

Before and After Hours: Plan to spend about a few minutes for trip planning, vehicle checks, and logbook entries.

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

The Startup costs could range from around $1,000 USD to $30,000 USD depending on whether you already have the proper vehicle.

Special Requirements for This Business:
  • Because of safety concerns today, some services now offer photo identification services as part of their package. If you plan on requiring photo IDs then you will need a camera and the equipment necessary to create the child’s ID.
  • Secure liability insurance to cover your vehicles, your employees, and passengers. Speak to your insurance agent about state requirements. Many states require liability insurance in the range of $500,000 to $1 million for transportation services.
  • Screen and hire drivers. Conduct a thorough drug screening and background check for all employees. Professional services are available for drug and background checks.
  • Most states require you get fingerprint clearance if you are going to work with children. This allows for a background check to make sure you don’t pose a threat to the welfare of kids. There may be other clearances and requirements that go along with this procedure. Make sure to check your local and state laws to see what they are. Usually fingerprinting can be done at your local police department or other agencies and businesses that provide this service.
Pros and Cons:

The Pros:

  • You offer a highly needed and appreciated service
  • You have the advantage of being your own boss
  • Ideal if you have a love for children and/or children with special needs
  • Ideal for at-home parents
  • This business is completely expandable

The Cons:

  • You may have to drive in bad weather
  • Insurance can be high due to the nature of the business
  • High energy children may be distracting
Type of Customers You Need to Attract:

Households with two working parents or single parents. Organizations that sponsor after-school activities such as soccer or karate may be interested in your services as well.

Statistics:

According to a U.S. Department of Labor survey, 61% of mothers work. Furthermore, 71% of all single mothers work.

According to a survey done by Kids Cart, a children’s transportation company in Oakland, CA, 61% of respondents said they used the service weekly.

Revenue:

This can vary depending on the market and business plan. However, Merry-Go-Round, a transportation company in Maryland opened in 1991. By 1996, it operated eight vans and had an annual profit of about $250,000 USD

Resources

Child Transportation Business Articles

Kids’ Taxi Service | Business Idea Center | Entrepreneur.com

Starting a Children’s Transportation Service | Gaebler.com

Child Transportation Service | Reference For Business.com

Starting a Van Transportation Business | Chron.com

How to Start a Child Transportation Business | eHow.com

Class Project Turns into Successful Kids Transportation Company | Blackenterprise.com

12 Transportation Businesses You Can Start Now | Entrepreneur.com

Associations:

APTA

 

Business Plans:

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