Modern technology has changed so many aspects of modern life, including the way we get around. Nowadays, apps on your phone allow you to hitch a ride pretty much anywhere, and anytime you like, and leading rideshare providers Uber and Lyft have completely cornered the market, standing out as two of the big names in the business.
Uber is hugely popular, going from strength to strength since its founding back in 2009 and now boasting tens of millions of users worldwide, with 20 billion total Uber trips having been taken since it launched. The company prides itself on its speedy service and impressive safety record, but Uber is not for kids. The rules state that any riders under the age of 18 have to be accompanied by an adult.
In spite of this, teens have been finding ways to get around Uber’s rules and many parents even book Ubers and Lyfts for their little ones too. Many other parents, meanwhile, are looking for kid-friendly alternatives, and several companies have answered the call, offering carpool and rideshare services designed with younger people in mind, putting proper rideshare safety precautions in place for every parent’s peace of mind. Here are a few popular examples.
With five million miles driven, 750,000 children transported, and 10,000 schools covered, Zum is one of the leading ride share platforms for the safe transportation of kids across America. It is currently available in several states, including California, Florida, and Illinois, and the network is growing bigger all the time.
You can select from a wide range of experienced, screened, child-friendly drivers and choose the same regular driver each time if you like so that your kids have someone they can learn to trust, and you can track each ride in real-time, right on your phone.
The prices for Zum are not bad either, roughly in line with other ride share apps and services, and the platform is partnering with thousands of schools to offer its services to as many kids as possible, aiming to become the biggest ride share network for kids on the planet.
Hop Skip Drive
Marketed to both schools and families, Hop Skip Drive is one of the most interesting ‘Uber for kids’ options out there right now. It is available all across America in states from California to Colorado and has already offered several million rides since being set up back in 2015.
Parents can book individual rides for their kids or recurring rides to school or after-school clubs. There are carpool options too if you want to share the cost with another family and let kids travel with their friends.
The app lets you track the movement of your child, get alerts when they get picked up or dropped off, and learn more about the drivers too. What is more, all the drivers are tracked and vetted on their performance, and only the best drivers are allowed to become a part of the Hop Skip Drive network.
Zemcar is another great option for parents and families looking for safe ways to help their kids get around. Available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store too, this app is really easy to use and highly reliable too.
It lets you learn about drivers in great detail, only choosing those you feel comfortable with and getting to know and interview them before you actually send your kids anywhere at all. You can build a circle of trusted drivers near you and then schedule one-off or recurring rides, as needed.
You can provide detailed instructions to the drivers regarding pick-up and drop-off, as well as watching the ride in real-time via a secure video feed, or simply track the progress of the vehicle on a map.
If you do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you will have to move onto another option, as Kango is only available there for now. However, this fast-growing, family-friendly Uber alternative could expand into other states and areas in the future.
Kango allows you to schedule safe rides for your kids, offering services for kids of all ages from preschoolers right up to teens. It is a good option for parents who want to get their kids to school, soccer practice, dance recitals, or other regular engagements in a simple, convenient way.
Kango makes use of pre-screened drivers and it also offers a sitter service too, so you can use the all-in-one app to get all the childcare you need, from rides to nannies. It is super safe, with all the Kango drivers and sitters undergoing interviews and checks too.
When kids get older, Uber might be their preferred way to get around, but until they are 18, these alternatives offer stronger safety features and smarter parental protection. Give them a try the next time your kids need to get somewhere.