A new ride service for kids, HopSkipDrive, is growing on the west coast and in Denver, but if I had the chance to use their service, would I?
The older and busier kids get, the more places they need to be. As a result, one child might need to be a volleyball practice while another has to be at soccer. Busy parents and full schedules may mean you can’t play chauffeur to their every engagement. Enter: HopSkipDrive.
Just like Uber, you can hail a ride for your child with a responsible and vetted licensed driver and they will ferry your child safely about. Understandably, Uber has a strict no unaccompanied minors rule in the interest of safety. With a similar concept in mind, HopSkipDrive saw a need for a getting kids where they need to be when their parents are unable to do so.
There is not an on demand ride service available through this app. To book a ride, you must schedule your childs trip at least eight hours in advance. The app will send live updates during trips and each ride starts at just $15 (depending on location) or $6 per family when you use their carpooling feature.
How It Came About
A group of moms in California came up with the the idea of a kid friendly car service that would help busy parents who can not be everywhere at once. The big thing here that makes this ride sharing concept stand out is their major focus on safety. Different from Uber, HopSkipDrive is like a nanny on the go. All “CareDrivers” must have at least five years of childcare experience, complete a comprehensive certification process and background checks.
In addition to their stringent safety requirements when hiring drivers, there are also measures in place during the ride that will help to keep children safe. This “Uber for kids” concept is not the first of its kind, a similar service “Shuddle” launched in the Bay Area in 2014 but couldn’t make it work and stopped services in April of last year.
It Could Be Useful
My sister has eight (yes, eight!) children at home and their schedules often conflict. They have just three vehicles and three drivers among them, so it’s not possible to get everywhere where they need to be all of the time. If they had this as an option, it could save the day. Even with seven less children than my sister, I can appreciate that there are times where a service such as HopSkipDrive could really help parents out.
Currently this company is only available in Los Angeles, San Fransisco and Denver. With their strong commitment to safety and “caregiving” approach to ride shares, HSD is a great example of doing something right the first time you do it.
I’m Still Not Totally Comfortable
I barely let Lucy walk through the metal detector at TSA on her own, there is no way I would trust another person to drive her around on my behalf. But that’s just me. It is also harder for me to imagine putting my four year old in the car with a stranger, but maybe my tune would change if she were older. (Speaking of age, to use HopSkipDrive children must be at least six years old.) Even if this service isn’t the right fit for me, I do appreciate the company’s extensive hiring process and focus on safety.
Would you use a service like HopSkipDrive? Do you have experience with this service or others like it?