Parents across America are wondering if Uber and Lyft can safely move their most precious cargo. Whether kids need to go to soccer practice or summer camp, ridesharing services can seem like an easy way to get them from point A to point B. Read on to see if it’s as safe as it is simple — and if there are better options to transport your child.
Can minors ride alone in an Uber or Lyft?
The answer is a firm no from both companies – and some parents are learning that the hard way. Uber and Lyft both have a rule that no one under 18 years of age can ride alone in their cars. They also ask drivers to make a formal report when a passenger riding alone is visibly underage.
While they can’t travel alone in a Lyft or Uber, minors of any age can ride with parents or other trusted adults. Uber even allows users to request a vehicle equipped with a car seat, though this feature is currently only available in New York City.
Are there other ridesharing options for kids?
In response to the demand for safe and reliable transportation for unaccompanied minors, many specialized startups have emerged including Zūm, HopSkipDrive, and Zemcar. All three prioritize safety and ensure their drivers are fully vetted, trained, and experienced in childcare.
Zūm, which has partnered with over 150 school districts, boasts backing from parents across the country — and for good reason. In addition to a 20-point vehicle inspection, they require their drivers to undergo background checks from the FBI and the Department of Justice. Like Zūm, HopSkipDrive partners with both parents and schools to provide a safe transportation option for kids. Guardians can receive updates from the app as the ride progresses, letting them know where their kids are and when they’ll arrive at their destination.
Zemcar has one feature that separates it from the rest: a live video feed of the ride for parents to monitor. This video feed can also be broadcasted to Zemcar specialists by request. Parents also have the option to interview drivers before the ride and designate trusted drivers for use going forward.
Though each is slightly different, all kid-friendly ridesharing apps provide the same thing: peace of mind to busy parents with equally busy kids.
How can I ensure my child is safe while ridesharing?
Thankfully, kid-specific ridesharing apps go to great lengths to guarantee that every trip is as safe as possible. Through comprehensive background checks to in-depth training, only the best of the best are selected to be drivers for these services.
If you’re looking for more ways to be proactive about safety, be sure to download BestRides on your child’s phone. The free app allows you to monitor every ride they take in real time and provides them with a panic button in case of an emergency. If pressed, you’ll immediately be notified and sent their exact GPS coordinates.
Got any tips for parents using child-friendly ridesharing apps? Share them with us on Twitter or in the comments section below!