Tips on Starting an Airport Shuttle Service
Customers seeking shuttle services typically fall into two categories. Those with airport reservations that want to avoid parking inconveniences, seek scheduled shuttle or van services. Alternately, customers that request to be picked up at their home or office with pre-booked reservations. Many of these shuttle services function within regions that lack adequate public transportation. Regardless, shuttle or van transportation services provide rides to customers traveling on business or for personal reasons. Here are some important things to keep in mind when starting an airport shuttle service.
- It’s always wise to seek a Certified Public Accountant familiar with transportation businesses. Also consult a commercial insurance agent with similar expertise. Organizing your shuttle business will require you to visit your city clerk’s office for a business license and request local permits. Don’t forget to ask your state department of transportation about state regulations or permits.
- By analyzing the shuttle service market, and obtaining a regional map, you can pinpoint regional airport hubs within a two-hour drive. Know your competition by identifying the current shuttle services to those airports, taking note of any areas that may lack airport transportation. This will aid establishing your shuttle service area. By identifying possible destination and traveling those routes at different times helps establish drivers’ travel times, thus creating an operational framework for your shuttle service.
- Developing commuter and tourism packages encourages repeat commuter business. Create discounted packages for frequent customers. Offering tourist-focused packages helps cater to those customers seeking airport transportation with additional shopping or attraction transportation.
- It’s time to establish your fleet. Obtain multi-passenger shuttle vehicles, estimating the number of vehicles needed for your routes. Work with your accountant to determine if purchasing or leasing options are better suited to your needs. Don’t forget to obtain handicapped-vehicles to accommodate disabled passengers.
- When hiring qualified shuttle drivers, find experienced drivers that demonstrate strong customer service qualities. You may contact your state department of motor vehicles to determine specific driver license requirements for specific shuttle vehicles. It’s common to seek former bus drivers and other large vehicle operators, as they may be strong first candidates.