Student Van Shuttle Service Business

You might be asking about the earning potential of a student van shuttle service business. With all those campus-based shuttles for free or at minimum fees, how could a business compete effectively and profitably? But there is income in this venture, and there is room for expansion.

This article specifically teaches you the essential points about how to start your very own student van shuttle service business.

Differentiated Service

In-campus shuttles servicing students, faculty, visitors, and to some extent, parents/guardians are your main competitors. But the services these campus-based shuttles provide are limited. As a new entrant to the student van shuttle service business, tap the unserved sector of the market and provide differentiated services. So how do you offer differentiated services? Go beyond the usual home-school-home route and include other off-campus/home destinations. Offer special services like emergency pick-up, door-to-door, and weekend/summer outings. Provide a diverse pricing schedule – hourly, daily, weekly, monthly packages, pay per mileage, or a combination. Be open for negotiations. Fees for daily services could start at $5 (one-way) and $10 (two-way) which increase by $1 for every 2 miles. Weekly rates could start at $25 (one-way) and $45 (two-way) which increase by $5 for every 2 miles. Have customers sign up for membership (at least $25 non-refundable) inclusive of insurance and special benefits. Give discounts to customers who pay ahead and those families who enroll their other kids for the shuttle.

Dependable Service

Safe transport is the core of your student van shuttle service business. Choose vehicles with excellent performance and with considerably low maintenance. Used vans are priced from $600, but the best ones cost at least $7,000. The number of vehicles you run depends on the size of the market you serve. If you have space at home for parking and home-office then it is even better. Otherwise, hunt for a location somewhere at the heart of your serviced area. Hire competent and friendly drivers. Serve areas within close proximity to the campus/campuses. Collect extra fees for rides off established routes. Establish good rapport, alliances or mutual agreements with campus management. Partnerships with gas stations and auto shops are also valuable. If you patronize them, you might get discounts/privileges in return. Don't forget to obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and pay your taxes and fees. Obedience to the law enhances your dependability level. License/permit fees vary in every state or city -- at least $100 for each van, and at least another $100 for related permits, insurances, etc.

Promoting your business is simple. Newspaper ads, flyers, posters are worthwhile. Offer week-long trial transportation at a discount or for free. Allow free membership for the first 10 or 20 customers. Start-up cost for a 3-vehicle student van service business operated home-based is roughly $60,000. This includes vehicle acquisition, insurances, licenses, permits, business registration, office remodeling/furnishing, driver/personnel screening, and initial business operating costs.


  • Ty said on August 15, 2009
    Hey I was just wondering how to start up my own Vanpool Biz from Sacrament Ca to the Bay area. For years the city of Sacramento has been trying to get a bullet train from Sac to Bay Area. How do I start?
  • scott said on September 9, 2009
    How do you come up with your prices? while knowing your expenses for insurance, gas, driver, marketing... college students are kind of cheap!
  • Jared Jones said on December 6, 2009
    From Costa Mesa, CA. What I want to add to my existing business, which is a food and beverage delivery service that is open until 5am for the party goers is a Free shuttle service to bars and restaurants at which those bars I'm bringing people to will be paying my company. My question is what types of licensing and permits are needed, if any. The drivers will be sub contracted people on call at their houses till a 11pm. So the customers get a Free service, the bar or restaurant makes money and so do we! Let me know if you could add anymore information. Thanks, Jared
  • Gerard Emptage said on January 30, 2010
    I want to start a van service transporting people from Scranton PA to NYC. Just one van. How do i get started?
  • enrico reyes said on September 6, 2010
    How much is the cost to start up a service van transporting grade k, first grader and 2nd grader? What are licenses required? Do i need LLC?
  • D Zachary said on October 1, 2010
    Garland, TX, USA. I would like to start a student shuttle service to local schools. What type of insurance coverage will I need.
  • vicky said on September 12, 2011
    what type of insurance, license, permit would I need to start my own kids shuttle transportation service. I am a state license child care provided for 4 years. I would like to service children at my day care,as as well as to and from other daycares, home,school etc. as registering members or on call/ what would be the start cost. I would be using mini van ( under 15 passenger van). my business location is nassau county , nys
  • Curtis stewart said on October 8, 2012
    C.Stewart Irving TX. I would like to start a student, shuttle service what type of insurance and permit would, i need do i need LLC? starting up with one eight, passenger van.
  • Stacey said on April 30, 2013
    I need more information on how to start a transportation business in Miami, Florida
  • olando said on September 29, 2013
    I would like to know what kind of insurances I would need to start a van service for children in NYC?
  • freweini reda said on August 9, 2014
    I live in dallas i have taken drug test and did my finger print I am ready to start transporting students with own van where should I go to get a contract?
  • N. Dent said on September 4, 2014
    I want to start a van service transporting people from NYC to Scranton. Just one van. How do i get started?
  • Mohammed Elyaaz said on August 7, 2017
    My name Mohammed elyaaz what I am ? looking for to starts small business just likes delivery or taking Care of passenger home or kid from school.i live in Sacramento California area so please let me know there is opening business for phone number is 17078031842 .


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