The best business ideas come from solving problems that are real to your own life (um, hello Spanx). Queen Village-er Kristina Fahl had exactly one of those conundrums: How to get her daughter to school in the morning and not be extremely late to her job in Delaware. So she did some research, pulled together some cash, made a few key connections, put together a business plan, and launched Shuttle Express Philly, a service that helps get Philly kids to school.
Here’s the basic (although brilliant) premise: Kids in Philly who live too far to walk to school, are too young to take public transportation on their own, or have parents that have to be at two places at once, are pretty much SOL. This can put a huge stress on parents and limits what options they may have for school. Kristina’s company aims to solve this problem in two ways. First, she will connect parents who are heading in the same direction (IE: Fairmount-ers who go to school in South Philly, or maybe McCall kids who live in the farthest parts of the catchment.) Then, she will figure out the best transportation options. Maybe that’s a walk train, maybe it’s a private van.
Either way, her company will provide the best options, routes and supervision. On things like vans, educators will be on board so kids are engaged and encouraged to meet new friends. She will also coordinate with the schools and use technology for parent communications. (As in, GPS tracking and text message notifications.)
Want to know when all of this convenience is getting started? I did too. Enrollment for the 2017-18 school year begins in February. Her goal is to have routes that are less than 20 minutes long. As of now, she’ll launch with just morning service, but has plans to add after-school and after, after-school pickup as well. The average monthly cost is $99, but her pricing is flexible, so that might mean a little less for you depending on route and mode.
Read more about Shuttle Express Philly on their site. You can also contact Kristina directly that way. She’s happy to answer any questions. Here’s to ending the dreaded carpool lane and getting to work on time!