Entrepreneurs often start businesses in order to fill a need or to solve a problem. That was the case with Kristal Bush from Philadelphia, PA. Her idea came from a very unlikely source – years of traveling to prison to visit her father.
Since the time she was 6 or 7 year old, Kristal traveled as much as 300 miles to visit her father and other relatives in prison. It was normal to her; she even saw classmates who were visiting their relatives in prison at the same time. Today, she is still traveling back and forth to prisons – but in a very different way.
Turning her experience into a business idea
Despite not having a father at home, Kristal was able to graduate from Temple University, pursue a career in social work, and even purchase her own home. But she never forgot the experience of visiting her father in prison as a child. So she decided to started a business of her own that takes people back and forth to prisons to visit their relatives.
Her company, Bridging the Gap Transportation, is a fully licensed and insured door-to-door transportation service with vans that provides affordable transportation from the city of Philadelphia to 17 different prisons across the state of Pennsylvania. The rates range between $25 and $70 (depending on the distance).
More than just transportation
As a former social worker, Kristal understands that the cycle of inter-generational involvement in the criminal justice system can be broken. She also knows that studies have consistently found that inmates who maintain close contact with their family members while incarcerated have better post-release outcomes and lower recidivism rates.
So, her business is more than just transportation. It fills a need for many people who do not own a car, and for others who do not want to make the trip alone. Since she has had years of experience visiting relatives in prison, Kristal is able to offer much-needed emotional and moral support as well as advice.
Strengthing the community
She comments, “We offer our customers a sense of hospitality during challenging times. We strongly believe by helping our customers maintain positive relationships with loved ones during incarceration that we help contribute to the reduction of recidivism while strengthening families in our communities.”
When Kristal graduated from college, she became a social worker. But now, not only is she a business owner… she is also able to continue her social work in a very different yet rewarding way!
For more details about Bridging the Gap Transportation, visit www.bridgingthegapllc.org