The Buggy team--and our service--has come a long way since 2019, when we launch at Gulliver Academy with 1 van and exactly 5 kids (2 of them mine). I had researched the market and had (mostly) anecdotal evidence that parents needed this. Every so often I’d survey the moms groups on Facebook, which provided extensive feedback and encouragement that my idea was solid. Still, I had no idea that the idea would take off, much less capture the interest of the Wall Street Journal a mere 2 years later.
Parents, I found, truly wanted this service, and some were desperate for transportation help. But I made a few assumptions about our target customer that proved untrue. For one, working parents weren’t our only demographic. Buggy was needed by working moms and stay at home moms almost in equal proportions. Kids had conflicting schedules, and many parents relied on nannies to make it all work.The second assumption was that private schools would comprise 90% or more of our business. It turns out that charter schools and even local public schools also attracted Buggy clients.
I hadn’t realize how many groups were left out of the public school bus system, including families with divorced parents and those who chose schools outside of their district. Many parents were making great sacrifices to get their children to school, enduring longer commutes to work, or having to negotiate with bosses to arrive late (or leave early). I could feel the strain in so many of our parents voices when they called Buggy, and it relieved me to know that we had a solution.
We grew fast but steadily from servicing one neighborhood, to servicing over 20. Our ridership has increased over 10% month over month, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the reception to Buggy. Without the parent engagement, we could not have gotten this far---and we have so much further to go.
So, this Thanksgiving, I want to thank our community of Buggy Coachies, riders and parents. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday filled with warmth, joy and family.
Isabel and The Buggy Team