A new ride-share service is taking care of a very modern, very urban, very L.A. problem: shuttling your children around the city in the middle of the busy workweek.
Begun by three local mothers, HopSkipDrive carefully vets drivers who help ferry children, aged 7-17, to dance class, football practice, and the French tutor. Since most school days end about 3 p.m.—about the time most office workers get their second wind—the service is an invaluable tool for modern families. Local mom Kirsten Hanson-Press told the L.A. Times that the mobile app-enabled service has helped save her sanity (and job, likely), a claim that doesn’t seem hyperbolic for anyone who’s had to get across town during rush hour.
HopSkipDrive mostly follows the Uber and Lyft model, except the drivers are very carefully screened with a 15-point certification process. Aside from background checks and vehicle inspections, all drivers must show five years of experience caring for children. The drivers must also be prepared to sign children out of practice or school, as well as exchange passwords with their passengers to ensure their drivers are who they say they are.
Another difference between Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar is that HopSkipDrive requires advanced planning (something parents know well). Rides must be booked a day in advance, but can be set up weeks in advance. Prices seem fair; between $12 and $20 for ride packages that offer beater incentives when bought in bulk.
This is one of those, why didn’t they think of this before? innovations that make modern life a little more bearable. More, please.