Alaska Small Business Development Center

Red Eye Rides

Seward Entrepreneurs Burning the Midnight Oil

In April 2022, Angel picked Natalie up at the Anchorage airport, late at night, and gave her a ride back home to Seward. It was on this ride that they decided to launch a new airport shuttle business – Red Eye Rides, LLC. Since then, this pair has been growing their business substantially, just adding a fourth bus to their fleet.

Red Eye Rides Red Eye Ride provides year-round transportation between Seward to Anchorage for work, play, travel, medical and other needs. Seward is an active port town with specialized workers, machinists, engineers, scientists, captains, travel nurses, and seasonal workers coming and going. Red Eye Rides offers an efficient and reliable way to bring the workforce to Seward.

Starting out as a small, owner-operated, one vehicle service, Red Eye Rides now owns four vehicles, employs five drivers, and provides three trips per day for customers during the summer months. As Natalie says, “We’re here to pick you up at midnight from the airport to bring you safely to Seward.”

Red Eye RidesRed Eye Rides also holds the Medicaid contract in Seward, and contracts employee shuttles for large local employers JAG Alaska and OBI Seafoods. Providing a necessary and essential service to Seward residents and transients alike, Red Eye Rides has seen significant growth in just its first year in operation.

Natalie Norris and Angel Paterson-Moe, partners in Red Eye Rides, worked with Seward Business Advisor, KellyAnn Cavaretta, to determine next steps to grow their business, specifically to meet rising demand for late night airport transportation.  Initially a bootstrapped company, the partners decided to explore commercial financing to support a new vehicle purchase. The Alaska SBDC provided assistance with loan preparedness, financial forecasting, and general support during a limited window before the beginning of their summer influx of customers.

Red Eye Rides Red Eye Rides received funding through the new State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) program to purchase a new transportation vehicle for their fleet. Natalie Norris reflects on her time working one-on-one with her local Alaska SBDC advisor, “KellyAnn has helped us throughout most of our journey. Her knowledge and guidance has introduced us to commercial lending institutions and helped us make better financial decisions. Additionally, she has led us in a great direction – with accounting referrals, financial projections, a business plan, and growth objectives.”

If you are interested in learning more about Red Eye Rides, check out their website and connect with them on Facebook.