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Thread: Starting an intercity shuttle business

  1. #1

    Default Starting an intercity shuttle business

    Hi everyone. I'm in the process of creating a startup and we will be providing bus shuttle service (on a fixed schedule) in between two cities about 111 miles apart. I'm pretty good when it comes to the process of starting a business -- it's new to me, but I'm learning and I'm also attracting a lot of interest already in the local entrepreneurial community.

    However, I'm completely new to the limo/charter/tour/bus industry so it's the operations angle that has me nervous. I have a million questions but I'll stick to just a few at first.

    1.) Hiring a cofounder or general manager: were any of you new to the limo business when you started your company? Did you choose to hire someone to do the day to day or to go into business with someone who had more of a background? If so, any ideas on how I begin the search?

    2.) Types of buses. I was originally looking at a Krystal F550 but I hear its ride quality stinks. Any thoughts? What about Grech buses?

    3.) Drivers. I know there are all sorts of regs surrounding drivers. Have any of you gone through a driver staffing company -- one that handles all the nitty gritty and the audits?

    Before it comes up, yes, I'm trying to outsource a lot of stuff here. That might rub some the wrong way and I completely understand -- I can get into the details of how I got to this point later (a kernel of an idea took a life of its own/it solves a huge transportation problem in our area and I had a unique solution) but that's not the gist of the post. I'm still in the go/no-go decision process for the business and the main drawback is I'm the primary caretaker of my kids and absolutely cannot run this business on my own, and my lack of transportation experience is another glaring hole. If I don't get a manager or a cofounder, this probably will be a no-go. But in the meantime, I am trying to learn as much as I can and this is one of my first steps.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Whglimo's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd never use a staffing company for my drivers. I have a very good reputation for hiring great people, and scrutinizing them. Giving that part up to a 3rd party, for me? NO WAY.

    Have you priced out insurance yet? You will need 5 million in coverage for any vehicle 16+ passengers.
    Renee E. Dorsey
    Airport Limousine Service, Inc.
    Transporting passengers since 1964
    Wheeling, West Virginia


    304-232-1175
    800-326-2907
    info@wheelinglimo.com

  3. #3

  4. #4

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    You would be better off hiring someone to take care of your kids so you can spend all your time starting your business, or any business. You need to be 100% involved 24-7 to start a business like this especially if you don't have experience. Get it up and running and then hire someone to help run it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jon Hook's Avatar
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    I am replying here because I understand where you are coming from. I take care of 4 kids on my own too. Don't trade your kids for the business. I would say you want to be directly involved in hiring your drivers. Then outsource your maintenance to a good shop. You haven't said how many buses or drivers or whatever you are looking at so I am not sure the scale you are looking to start out. Also, where is your business coming from? Are people sending you riders via their business or are you selling directly to Joe Public? What is your angle there?
    ******************************
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  6. #6

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    Thank you all. We will be running two buses during the rush hours (so two at 6am,8am,4pm,and 6pm). We'll expand from that but that's our first step. So we don't need to hire that many drivers, just enough for back up and the like. My concern also is that those aren't very many hours for someone so we'd probably have better luck with a retired driver looking for part time work.

    I guess I was hoping to outsource because I'm nervous about audits/regulations. Do y'all hire your drivers part time or full time? What are the differences there in terms of benefits offered, etc? How do you advertise?

  7. #7
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    nice post it was very useful to me

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whglimo View Post
    Personally, I'd never use a staffing company for my drivers. I have a very good reputation for hiring great people, and scrutinizing them. Giving that part up to a 3rd party, for me? NO WAY.

    Have you priced out insurance yet? You will need 5 million in coverage for any vehicle 16+ passengers.
    It is possible that less than $5mil in insurance would be needed if it is only an intrastate operation. State laws would then dictate the insurance requirement and not federal law. I know of some ops that are only intrastate and carry less than $5mil in insurance because their states don't require it.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

  9. #9
    Senior Member Whglimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    It is possible that less than $5mil in insurance would be needed if it is only an intrastate operation. State laws would then dictate the insurance requirement and not federal law. I know of some ops that are only intrastate and carry less than $5mil in insurance because their states don't require it.
    Good point; I just never consider that since I am here, 1 mile from one state (Ohio) and 5 miles from another (PA).
    Renee E. Dorsey
    Airport Limousine Service, Inc.
    Transporting passengers since 1964
    Wheeling, West Virginia


    304-232-1175
    800-326-2907
    info@wheelinglimo.com

  10. #10

  11. #11

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    My state does still require a $5mil for intrastate.

    So...is there a 'dummies guide' to running a bus company? Because I seriously need one.

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