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Improving income from school runs

For many taxi drivers across the country, the school run provides good recurring income. With smaller towns and villages dotted across the countryside, many parents are opting for taxis, particularly when public transport is sporadic or otherwise unavailable. For drivers, the school run is usually hassle-free, providing guaranteed income and making business planning easier. Yet many drivers do not fully utilise the potential of the school run. The following tips are therefore intended to help drivers maximise their income potential from driving children to and from school.


The school run tends to involve taking children to and from school in the morning and late afternoon. Since most schools start and finish at similar times, many drivers are limited to servicing just one school. However, this is not always the case. If you intend to maximise your income potential, a good start is to identify all the schools within your area and determine when their school days start and finish. You may find that multiple school runs are possible as many school days start between 8am and 10pm, and finish between 3pm to 6pm.

Servicing more customers becomes more doable if you are open to pooling rides and picking up multiple children. For example, if you live in the countryside, there may be opportunities to pick up several children from different villages if they go to the same school, allowing you to charge more per journey, but lowering the individual cost per child. This may even allow you to be able to compete against public transport if the cost of travel per child becomes more favourable to parents. It’s therefore worth exploring which schools, times and locations you wish to service. If you then have multiple clients pooling your car, you can optimise your time by working out the order you’ll pick up and drop off your customers, which becomes the more important if you are able to drive children to and from different schools.

Finding customers

Whilst many parents may be open to using taxis for the school run, you can’t rely on them reaching out to you. Those who may be actively looking for a driver may reach out to a competitor, whilst others may never begin searching for a driver, content with public transport. It’s therefore worth being proactive, ensuring you have more exposure than your competitors, whilst providing rationale for parents to use your services over public transport.

There are many ways in which you can market your services. It is important to determine your tariff, with consideration for the alternatives available. If you can compete with other public transport then this is a huge benefit that should be communicated. Contacting schools is a good starting point, but you cannot guarantee that they will pass the information onto prospective parents, so visiting surrounding villages to post fliers on community notice boards may be useful. Posting on local community groups via social media is also worth doing, particularly to highlight the benefits of using your taxi over other forms of transport. Whilst you may not get lots of enquiries immediately, parents talk and once you start servicing one, the news will spread and you should hopefully find you’re receiving more enquiries.

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