For any parent with school or creche-going children, coordinating their daily itinerary along with their own can be a nightmare, so when Kids Shuttle Services was founded in 2016, it came much to the relief of many Windhoek parents. Before Kids Shuttle Services, Sethunya Sedimo, a single mother of two found herself exhausted before she even stepped into the office, and late at that. And the afternoons offered little reprieve.
“I would use my lunchtime running out of the office and then enduring the long lunchtime traffic to pick up my son, drop him off for his afternoon classes and then head back to the office. When I would get there, it would be past two o’clock,” she says. For Sethunya discovering Kids Shuttle Services was like discovering unicorns exist. Kids Shuttle Services, which was founded in March 2016 is a transport service tailored to children. There was a need for a service that catered specifically to children because unlike other taxi services that offer transport services, it was trust and dependability that would make Kids Shuttle Services unique.
“Parents are worried for the safety of their children, especially recently. We are glad that we were the first because now, Kids Shuttle Services is not just a business, but it has the parents’ trust. They shared their success stories and that helped us grow. Because of things that have happened, in 2018 parents are not leaving their kids with just anyone. We take it as a social responsibility to the community as parents can do their work without worrying about their kids’ safety,” Kids Shuttle Service admin officer Liezel Meyer tells TF.
Safety is our number one priority. Besides uncompromising seatbelt and road safety rules, background checks are done before hiring drivers and to ensure they don’t have a criminal record. Daily schedules and routes are also meticulously mapped out to get the most out of each trip. Before funds and resources were commit to Kids Shuttle Services, the idea was tested out for a week, transporting kids to and from school. Before the week was up, desperate parents like Sethunya, needing transport services for their kids were calling in daily to book a spot.
Kids Shuttle Services started with two vehicles, a 6-seater Toyota Sienta and a Sedan and closed off 2016 transporting 18 kids and hired two drivers. In two years, that number has more than tripled. Currently, Kids Shuttle Services transports 65 kids and hires five, including four drivers and an admin officer. “We are grateful to Standard Bank because they saw potential in what we do and with a loan from them we bought two more vehicles and office space. We moved onto seven seaters and a Quantam as they are bigger vehicles and we are able to optimise them to carry more kids,” Meyer says.
It has been two years since Sethunya has forfeited her lunch break to drop her kids at home or at their next after school appointment. In fact, lunch naps are now a thing she enjoys. Kids Shuttle Services transports kids from schools in Pioonerspark, Otjomuise, Khomasdal, Cimbabacia, Rocky Crest, Ludwigsdorf, Eros, Kleinne Kuppe, Elisenheim and the list continues to grow. As the final semesters for 2018 get underway, there are already plans to add more vehicles and drivers in 2019.