“Some Call It a Kid-Uber:” Former Chesterfield Bus Driver Starts Business Taking Students To and From School
CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) – Cheryl Whalon’s eight-person charcoal minivan is a long way from a big yellow school bus, but says her new side activity could be the reason your student from Chesterfield is coming to the time to school.
“Some people call it a ‘kid-Uber’, but I like to think I’m a cut above that,” Whalon said.
Between late buses and critical driver shortages, Whalon says she is closely following the transportation incidents that Chesterfield County schools have suffered in her first week back to school.
When parents were asked to drive their own students to and from school, she saw an opportunity to start her new business to help parents who could not afford to bring their children to school. without depending on the bus system.
“This is where I could come in,” Whalon said, “I call her, ‘Mrs. C’s Kids Transport, LLC.’ I started it maybe about three weeks ago.
Whalon says his rates start at $ 10 per day for round-trip transportation to school, $ 50 for a week of transportation, or $ 180 for an entire month. Whalon says his business is open to anyone in Chesterfield in need.
“It’s pretty exciting, I get a lot of phone calls,” Whalon said. “I have students in three different schools, which is a good start.
Although her business is only a few weeks old, Whalon says she drives students to school and has been back for a long time. Whalon was a famous veteran bus driver for Chesterfield Schools for the past 23 years. Health issues have forced her to stop driving a bus, but she says she is using her experience with Chesterfield Schools in her business.
“I learned a lot about the route Chesterfield County does, so I have to make sure I allow enough time to travel,” said Whalon. “I can seat six elementary students. I have students – just like schools – wear masks, and I wipe my seats and sanitize them every day. “
As a former bus driver, Whalon says she isn’t surprised by the shortage of drivers in the county due to the amount typically paid and allowed to work. She believes that higher pay and overtime would not only keep the county drivers, but also recruit new drivers.
“We have a 30 hour contract, but there is a need for more than that, and it has been difficult for a lot of riders not to go over that,” said Whalon. “An increase might help.
Whalon runs the business with the help of her husband and says she bought the van specifically for the job. She hopes that as the business continues to grow, it can expand and purchase another vehicle to help serve more people who need it.
She believes that even after Chesterfield resolves her bus issues, her services will still be needed for parents who need an alternative transportation option for their children without rearranging their schedules.
As the county resolves its bus problems, Whalon hopes this alternative will help families get around an uncertain school year.
“I have heard a lot of positive things; people texted me and texted me and said, ‘wow, this is something we really need,’ ”she said.
Whalon if you think you could benefit from her business, you can reach her at 804-852-3698 or [email protected]
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