A medical transportation service is a business that provides non-emergency medical transportation. Potential clients include senior citizens, people with disabilities and low-income people insured by Medicaid. A medical transportation service takes people to and from physician visits, physical therapy and other types of medical appointments. With a growing senior population, a medical transportation service can be a profitable business.

Check out the competition. Is there another medical transportation service in town? Although most cities have an ambulance service available 24 hours per day, a private service can be a good, cost-effective alternative for people needing medical transportation

Write a well-crafted business that delineates exactly how you will run your business. Include a budget, advertising plan and marketing strategy.

Talk to your banker about a business loan. You'll need a good credit history. You may need other financial documents, depending on the size of your loan. The banker will also want to see your business plan.

Buy your first vehicle for the service. The most important thing is getting a vehicle with either a manual or hydraulic lift to accommodate wheelchairs. If you can't take wheelchairs, you'll be limiting the service you provide. Remember you don't need to start with a fleet of vans or cars. Your first vehicle can be used, as long as it is in good condition. You can have it refitted to include the lift.

Make yourself the first driver so you can keep costs down. When your business expands, you can hire more drivers. Once you start hiring others, do careful background checks.

Insure your business. You need automobile and professional liability. It's a good idea to get both from the same insurer; it makes things easier when there's a claim. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Not only are you driving people, you're also loading and unloading patients and helping them walk back and forth to offices. With millions of things that could go wrong, you want to have good insurance.

Decide how to receive payment. Accepting credit cards will ensure more payment, but you do have to pay a small fee to use them. Check into accepting Medicaid, as this could be a big part of your business. Your state Department of Human Services can give you information on accepting Medicaid.

Promote your new medical transportation service. Get your name out to hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Put your business in the yellow pages. Visit the local senior citizens centers and government agencies for the elderly.