Ever had trouble getting a kid to soccer practice, dance class or even picked up from school on time?
If so, you’re not alone. It’s why two new shuttle services for kids have popped up in the Valley this summer. Because minors aren’t allowed to take an Uber or a Lyft unless accompanied by an adult, ride services such as HopSkipDrive and VanGo are reaching out to parents and schools.
HopSkipDrive offers transportation for ages 6 and up. VanGo offers rides to teens and pre-teens. Both offer drivers with extensive background checks as peace of mind for busy parents in need of their services.
“Nearly one in two parents say they feel they put their jobs at risk to meet their children’s transportation needs,” Joanna McFarland, HopSkipDrive’s co-founder and CEO and mother of two, said in a statement. “Parents shouldn’t have to choose between their careers and their children’s education and activities, but that tough choice is very real for countless families. HopSkipDrive wants parents to take comfort in knowing they have someone to rely on to get their kids where they need to go, safely and without worry.”
HopSkipDrive — already operating in metro areas of California, Colorado and Washington, D.C. — promotes the fact that its drivers (called CareDrivers) have undergone extensive background checks and have a minimum of five years of caregiving experience. CareDrivers must pass a 15-point certification that includes fingerprinting, FBI and U.S. Department of Justice background checks, driving-record checks and an in-person meeting with the HopSkipDrive team.
VanGo boasts that more than 85 percent of its drivers are moms. Launched in the NYC metro area in June 2018, VanGo expanded into Phoenix this summer with vetted drivers that are also nannies, teachers and babysitters. VanGo says its drivers have at least three years of childcare experience, and are carefully vetted and fingerprinted. VanGo drivers undergo background checks, must have a clean driving record and have their vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic.
Both SkipHopDrive and VanGo offer reservations through an app, plus services such as pick-up and drop-off alerts, GPS tracking and more.