How to Turn a Double Decker Bus to a Double Profit Business Idea

two double decker buses at a busy intersection

Have you ever seen a bus that’s been converted into, say, a mobile home or into a party bus and then wondered if a similar conversion would work for the double-decker counterpart? The short answer is, yes, it could work. After all, people have converted the average school bus into their dream home on wheels, or a used coach bus into a party bus or tour bus. So why can’t a double-decker bus be repurposed in a similar way? 

For the longer, more in-depth answer, yes, it’s possible, but there are some obstacles you may encounter. The first and biggest one would be finding a double-decker bus given how they’re uncommon in the United States and are typically owned by private transit companies. However, once you can find a double-decker bus that’s in good enough condition, then you’re one big step closer to a mobile business. You’ll still have to deal with a lot of preparations, including learning safety laws for operating a bus, but at least you’d have the base for your business. 

Before you look for a suitable bus to convert, though, what kind of business should you consider? Here are a few examples.

Hotel Bus

Many of us have fallen asleep while on a bus or train before, and in most cases it doesn’t hurt to do so, unless it means you risk missing your stop because you napped too long. So why not offer a ride that people are meant to fall asleep on without worrying about waking up in the wrong place? 

An Australian entrepreneur has already successfully converted a bus into a sleeping shelter for homeless people, and East Yorkshire businessman Oliver Kemp has Bedroam, a mobile hotel for events such as festivals that can last late into the night. 

If you decide to convert your double-decker bus into a hotel bus, you can choose to stay within a certain area, or offer city-to-city transit, much like a red-eye flight has passengers board the plane in one city and wake up in a different one. Another way to think of this kind of business is that it’s similar to an overnight bus. The difference is, your hotel bus would offer more comfortable seating in the form of reclining seats or even sleeping pods. 

You’ll want to plan the layout properly to fit in as many seats or sleeping pods and leave enough space for any luggage that passengers have, not to mention a bathroom so guests can freshen up. Optimally there’ll be one bathroom per sleeping deck so people won’t be queueing up for too long.

Mobile Co-Working Space

Want to start a mobile business on top of a co-working space? You can combine the two ideas into one by converting a double-decker bus into a mobile co-working space. Some startups need office space because not all employees can work from home, or they don’t want to. Whatever the reason, startup businesses will want to keep costs down; using a co-working space instead of renting an office in a commercial building is one such way to cut costs.

As with converting a bus to a mobile home, you’ll want to think carefully about the layout so you can fit in as many tables and chairs as possible. You may have more space compared to a regular or a coach bus, but if you want to include amenities like a washroom, a fridge, and a nap room, you still shouldn’t skip this step. Otherwise you’ll find that people are too cramped, or you have more space than you know what to do with.

You can either have your customers come to you, in which case you’d just have to drive the bus to a specific address and wait. Or you could offer to pick up customers from pre-designated pickup points, then drop them off there at the end of the day. 

Mobile Restaurant

This is pretty straightforward, being quite literally a restaurant on wheels. A mobile restaurant is a great idea if you’ve wanted to start a restaurant of your own but didn’t want to spend too much to rent commercial space, while also feeling limited by the idea of a food truck. 

As with all other bus conversions, it’s important that you consider the layout so that you’ll have enough space for everything your employees will need for a kitchen and still be able to accommodate a good number of customers. Even if the bus has an upper deck, you wouldn’t want to find that you over- or underestimated the space you’d need for one area or another.

This idea could potentially combine a food truck and sightseeing business into one, with your mobile restaurant starting in one area and driving along a route that allows customers to see any areas of interest from the restaurant windows before arriving at another area. 

Even if you don’t include sightseeing, your mobile business can easily move from one location to another, bringing the food to customers like a food truck would. Also like a food truck, it would be a simple matter to bring the mobile restaurant to festivals and other similar events.


No matter what business you end up choosing, remember that you need to take things one step at a time. This means not worrying excessively about attracting new customers to your mobile business when you haven’t even bought the bus you’ll be using. Just make sure you buy the double-decker bus from a reputable shop or dealer, and have a business plan in hand so you have a road map you can follow instead of winging it every step of the way.