A new shuttle service for children is open in Gahanna.

A new shuttle service for children is open in Gahanna.

Get'em There "offers prearranged student transportation for children in kindergarten through high school who need to get to or from school, daycare, before- and after-school activities as well as appointments in Gahanna," according to the new business' Web site.

Owner Veronica Redmond, a mother of three children, said she had heard about the business model in 2000 and kept it in the back of her mind until now. She recently opened the business in Gahanna as a way to help busy families like hers.

"I think this is a very much-needed business, and I'm finding out very quickly that people are so grateful we're here," she said.

Get'em There offers shuttle service from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for children who live in the areas of Highpoint, Jefferson and Lincoln elementary schools, Gahanna Middle School East and parts of Gahanna Middle School South.

"I can take them to dance, karate, church events," Redmond said. "I can take them anywhere in Gahanna."

The service will be offered all year long to incorporate not only after-school activities but also summer camps and other summertime activities, Redmond said.

Several similar companies around the country provide shuttle services for children. Two families that include a total of 10 children started Vantastic in New Jersey. The company's Web site states each of the founding families had problems with getting their children to and from events, struggling with "safety issues, kids walking a mile home alone and what to do when the weather is poor or you have an unreliable car pool."

A Bexley resident started a similar service called the BEAT (Bexley Extended Area Transit) for adults and children several years ago.

Redmond said she has priced her business with busy parents of many children in mind. To use the service, parents first need to become members, which requires a $40 registration fee. Yearly renewals are $20.

One trip is considered an eight-mile ride to or from somewhere in Gahanna. Redmond said a family using one to two trips per week would cost $18 per trip; two to four trips per week would cost $15 per trip; five to nine trips per week would cost $13 per trip; and 10 or more trips per week would cost $12 per trip.

She said her company is fully insured and provides a safe and reliable way to get students to and from events.

"It's more like a bus service, not a taxi," she said.

Taxis serve one person going to or from a specific location. A bus service could pick up several people and make stops at different locations.

Redmond said that with her current vehicle, she could serve 30 children a day.

She said she has the required permits to service more of Gahanna and most of Columbus, eventually hoping to add vehicles and coverage area.

"My goal is by September to have more vehicles in Gahanna," she said.

When asked about starting a business in the current economy, Redmond said people are cutting back but they are not cutting out children's activities.

A Gahanna native, Redmond said she believes very strongly in keeping kids busy and involved.

"The importance of extracurricular participation generally results in children who maintain better grades and develop a positive self-esteem but also are less likely to get into trouble or do drugs," she said.

For more information on Get'em There, call (614) 855-6165 or visit www.getemthere.com.