Eight ways to keep your shuttle service rolling along smoothly

Drivers for The Hershey Hotel

Drivers for The Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Pa., are trained to engage with shuttle passengers and point out surrounding attractions during the ride.Pictured: Drivers for The Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Pa., are trained to engage with shuttle passengers and point out surrounding attractions during the ride.

Here are some tips for hotels to make their shuttle service seamless.

* 1 Have pre-set guidelines for where transportation will take guests. Prepare scenarios for if guests want to travel to another location on request, but be clear about the regular shuttle route.

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* 2 Avoid guaranteeing pick-up and drop-off times to guests. Travel is always subject to changes, such as traffic, but keep a schedule nearby.

* 3 Always be ready for last-minute requests. Inclement weather means more guests will be looking for shuttle service, so having one car in reserve for emergencies is often very helpful.

* 4 Keep up with both daily and long-term maintenance. Cars and shuttles should look spotless on the inside for guests, but running hundreds of miles every day adds up, and regular upkeep goes a long way toward extending the life of these vehicles.

* 5 Be aware of local events and their schedules. If a park or event near the hotel is open for 24 hours one day, prepare for extra travelers and longer hours, and consider modifying your shuttle schedule for the day. Investigate these events for information on road closures for marathons and marches as well, and communicate with the local transportation authority to limit any surprises.

* 6 Learn the peak travel times for roads near the hotel and avoid them. If other shuttles are running every half hour, consider delivering at the 15- and 45-minute mark to avoid congestion.

* 7 If working with outside partners, make sure the partner understands the goal of the hotel and how to market to the guest. Find common ground in terms of objectives and ensure the guest experience is being upheld.

* 8 Make sure drivers go through the same orientation program as other staff members. Guest interaction is important to drivers, because they operate like a moving front desk. They are often the first representatives of your hotel that guests will meet, so train them according to your property’s standards. 

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