How to Start a Paratransit Business

Posted on 14 March 2011

For anyone who loves to drive and likes to help people, learning how to start a paratransit business could be your ticket to self employment success. This business involves picking up and dropping off people who are elderly or who have special need. You’ll be helping them into and out of the vehicle at times, and you might need to provide other direction as well.

With the rapid expansion of the older population around the world, learning how to start a paratransit business can be quite lucrative and grow quickly. For thousands of citizens these services are their only mode of transportation to appointments, the store, etc.

How to Get Started with a Paratransit Business

When you start a paratransit business, you will find that it is one of the few business where your office location doesn’t really matter. In fact, you might be able to run the business out of your home. Your main concern will be to find a location with plenty of room for your transit vans, and an office for your dispatcher.

The main equipment needed for a paratransit service is of course a van, which must be equipped with a wheelchair ramp or lift. You don’t have to purchase a brand new vehicle for this, as long as it’s respectable and clean. People will not want to get into an old beat up van!

It will be important for you to check with your state’s department of motor vehicles before you start a paratransit business to see if there are any specific requirements you must meet to transport people who cannot drive themselves. The minimum requirement you can expect is a chauffeur’s license. Some states will also require you to obtain a taxi license for this kind of business.

In addition to state requirements, make sure you meet the requirements of the major insurance companies as well. Some of your passengers may be able to have a portion of your fees paid by their insurance carrier – if you meet the requirements and are approved.

What You Need to Succeed

Your most important asset when you start a paratransit business is your caring personality. Treating all your passengers with care and respect will make them feel good about using your service, and they are very likely to recommend you to their friends and family.

You’ll need to get the word out about your paratransit business, and there are several ways you can do that. One way is to take flyers to local doctors’ offices, retirement homes, and hospitals. Creating a website is also a good idea. Even if many of your older passengers do not use the internet, their family members might find you there.

Also consider offering promotions, like a frequent rider program or discounts for certain organizations. This will help you attract more customers and show that you understand that many of them are on fixed, low incomes.

Learning how to start a paratransit business is just the beginning. When it comes time to expand your paratransit business, it’s just a matter of adding more vans and drivers. You can grow fast or slow – it’s all up to you. The important thing is that you’ll be self employed and loving what you do!

2 Responses to “How to Start a Paratransit Business”

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