Would you send your children in an ‘Uber for kids’?


When kids reach a certain age, it feels like half of parenting is spent driving them from practice to rehearsals to birthday parties to dentist appointments. But what if you could pay someone to pick up carpool duty for you?

It turns out you can.

Thanks to services like HopSkipDrive, a kid-friendly, Uber-like rideshare company, your kids have reliable transportation without you spending precious time in the car.

HopSkipDrive was started by three moms with eight kids between them. The company provides rides for the under 18-set, who cannot have their own Uber accounts or take an Uber without an adult. Lyft, another rideshare service, also does not provide rides for children under 18.

The Los Angeles-based company strives to put parents at ease with extensive safety precautions, including background checks, fingerprinting, interviewing potential drivers in person and requiring drivers to have five or more years of childcare experience.

Parents receive the driver’s picture and information prior to the ride, and they receive real-time updates from the app throughout the duration of the ride. There is also a zero tolerance policy for illegal mobile device usage, or smoking, drug or alcohol usage while driving.

Unlike Uber, rides with HopSkipDrive must be scheduled at least eight hours in advance. The service is currently available in Southern California, where rides start at $7 for a carpool and $16 for a single family; in the Bay Area, where the price structure is the same and in Colorado, where carpools start at $6 and single family rides start at $15.

A similar service, Kiddie Kab, was started by a mother of two named Andrea Thompson. Kiddie Kab’s drivers must pass a background and drug test and are also fingerprinted.

“Even above all of the screening, they have to love children,” Thompson told WKBW of what she looks for in new drivers.

Kiddie Kab cars are monitored by GPS. Rides begin at $15 and are available for children 15 years old and younger in western New York.

Other similar services include Zum, which operates in Orange County, California and in the San Francisco Bay Area; kidzJet, which also in operates in the Bay Area and plans to expand to Los Angeles soon; Kid Car, which operates in the New York City metropolitan area; and Kids Kruiser, which offers rides in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

Would you consider using one of these services?

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About the Author
Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kate's work.

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