School buses can soon become things of the past, as kids now become a target market of transportation providers.
Uber and Lyft, considered as key players in the ride-hailing economy, cannot give rides to unaccompanied minors. This is where start-ups like HopSkipDrive come in, serving the specific niche.
What is HopSkipDrive?
HopSkipDrive was founded by three working moms. The company brands itself as "a team that cares as much for your kids as we do for ours." Their service comes with a uniquely-designed insurance.
Drivers are wittingly called "CareDrivers," and they undergo a 15-point certification process before children use the service. They have to be at least 23 years of age, have at least 5 years of caregiving experience, references and clean driving / background check records. In addition, cars must be 2006 models and beyond.
How Does It Work?
HopSkipDrive currently operates in the Greater Los Angeles area, though it claims rapid expansion in new regions. It promises convenience, which is why rides can be scheduled as far in advance as desired and as soon as 8 hours in advance.
So how does the service work? Interested customers can sign up either through the HopSkipDrive site or its Android and iOS apps. Complete your profile, add a payment method, pre-purchase ride credits and eventually schedule rides for your convenience.
The CareDriver's information is sent to parents after scheduling the ride. Through the app, parents can track their children's rides in real-time. CareDrivers are available to contact via multiple methods anytime.
HopSkipDrive has received good reviews so far. A Facebook user wrote, "I love this service. Right now I am using once a week for an early dance class for my daughter. Their service is so great I plan on using them more in the future. I never thought I could let my teen ride with just anyone but they have seriously put my mind at ease."
Another commented over Yelp, "I started using HopSkipDrive a few months ago and let me just say, they have truly been a blessing. I thought I was going to have to take my daughter out of the school she's in because transportation was such an ordeal. But HSD came to the rescue."
HopSkipDrive received $3.9 million in seed-funding last year, Tech Crunch reported. The seed round was led by Upfront Ventures.