How to Start an Airport Shuttle Service With a Family Minivan

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With a little initiative, your family minivan can be transformed from a decorative item in your porch to an efficient income generator. Most people catching a flight do not want to be bothered about traffic and parking woes. Added to this is the increasing awareness about conserving natural resources and avoiding environmental pollution. As a result, people are increasingly relying on shuttle services for transportation to and from airports. This is where your minivan could be pressed into service when your family is not using it. As you gain more experience, it is quite possible that this small venture can turn into your main source of income.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet connectivity
  • Family Minivan
  • Driver
  • Permit
  • License
  • Business insurance policy
  • Look up your state's Department of Motor Vehicles website. Find information about what permits and licenses you need to run an airport shuttle service. Note down what documents would be required while submitting your application. Download the application if it is available online or procure it from the concerned department office. Check if you need business insurance and get in touch with an insurance company that can provide you with the necessary cover. Contact the airport to find out if you need to enter into an agreement.

  • Do the paperwork. Fill up the form to apply for the permits to run your airport shuttle service. Attach the relevant documents as specified in the application form. Submit these documents at the office of the Department of Motor Vehicles and wait to receive your operator permit. Pay your insurance premium, collect the policy document and file it for future reference. If the airport procedures require it, sign an agreement with the concerned officials.

  • Identify your niche. Learn about other shuttle service operators and their method of service. Mull over which area you can focus on to provide better quality service. Begin competing on price -- this will generate the initial interest in your shuttle service. Calculate what you are going to charge for the shuttle service from different locations based on the distance. Identify other areas where you can prove to be different -- small things like a courteous driver or a cleaner vehicle can make a difference to customers. Decide if you are going to hire a driver or drive yourself.

  • Pick a driver if you decide to. After you receive your airport shuttle service operating permit, try the job sites on the Internet or get in touch with some placement agencies to hire a driver if necessary. Make sure to verify the driver's history as per the state's records and provide him with insurance.

  • Advertise your service. To begin with, get in touch with some of the people working at the airport and speak to them about recommending your service to passengers. If it suits you, make an offer that provides them with some kind of benefit, too. Strike up similar arrangements with other businesses like travel agencies and hotels that can provide you with customers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Search the Internet and network with other similar businesses operating in other parts of the country to ask for advice before you begin the process.
  • Install a hotline for your shuttle service and display this in bold on the sides of your minivan -- this will be a permanent advertisement at no extra cost.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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