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Business: Scooting around town

New business provides transportation service for kids

By Jane Knoerle

Almanac Lifestyles Editor

"I can't believe nobody else is doing this," says Sally Wood Williams of Menlo Park, who launched Scoot, a kids' shuttle service, in September.

As a mother of two who has done a lot of driving for her own children, Jackson and Elissa, to after-school activities, she realized the need for a door-to-door transport service for the schoolyard set. Her first customers have been working moms.

At present, the shuttle service consists of the Williams' Chrysler Aspen SUV, with Ms. Williams as driver. "It seats eight and is very comfortable, a little more plush than a mini-van."

She envisions a fleet of five SUVs cruising around town. She already has another driver, also a mom, waiting in the wings.

Typical runs for Ms. Williams are picking up a kindergartner and taking her to a baby sitter, or delivering a child to after-school lessons or sports practice.

"The number one thing I do is make sure the child gets to the destination safely. I always wait until the child makes the connection, then I send the parent a text message," she says. "So far, my business has been after school, but I envision getting requests to take children to school," she says.

The charge is $9 for a trip of a mile or less and increases about $1 a mile for each additional mile.

She says Scoot is certified by the California Public Utilities Commission and operates with strict compliance to its rules governing the safe transport of children. The permit covers transportation in Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, and Redwood City.

"Our goal is to provide ... a reliable and affordable option to get your kids from here to there, safely and on time," says the Scoot Web site (ScootShuttle.com). "Scoot is focused on earning your trust every day as we carefully transport your most precious cargo."

Potential clients may register online, with reservations handled online as well. Customers are sent invoices at the end of the month, which they can pay online via Bill Pay.

Sally Williams is a local girl. She grew up in Sharon Heights, where her parents, Bob and Barbara Wood, still live. She is a graduate of Woodside High School and UC Berkeley. Her husband, Mark Williams, is the son of the late Gary and Elissa Williams, who were well-known in the Menlo Park community.

Ms. Williams has had a career in advertising, but likes the flexibility of her fledgling company. "I don't want to be away from my kids all day," she says.

Go to ScootShuttle.com or call Ms. Williams at 862-6750 for more information.

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