Apt84: A Modern Spin on Old-School Wheels

blue school bus
Blue school bus near water at sunset
Photo: Apt84

Catherine Ovejas and her boyfriend, Jose Rivera, were looking for a business opportunity that was different from the usual restaurant, bar, or retail scene. As a marketing director, Ovejas understands the importance of the human connection, so she set out to build an experience-based business. The result is Apt84 – a remodeled, repainted, repurposed school bus in New York that serves as a tiny mobile house for parties, reunions, and weekend road trippers.

Already trendy on the West Coast, recycled school buses, or “skoolies” are quickly gaining popularity on the East Coast as an upscale combination of party bus and tiny house.

“It really does help the problem of people not connecting,” says Ovejas of her mobile business. “It is not just transportation; you really do get to experience what it’s like to be in the skoolie, you get to be more comfortable with the way you are seated, and you get to interact with your group.”

The couple purchased the bus for just $4,500 and invested another $25,000 in it to turn it into a comfortable, welcoming experience for guests, with all the amenities of home. With a bathroom (that includes a shower), a sleeping area for six, a rooftop deck, and a full kitchen, Apt84 is the perfect place for beachgoers, tourists, and wedding parties to use as a home base for group transportation, event prep, or even an afternoon nap. Apt84 holds up to fifteen people comfortably and comes with a driver (Ovejas or Rivera).

While the couple frequently rents out the bus for wine tours and private parties, they believe in giving back to the community and frequently lend Apt84 to charities in the area.