Kids become busier and busier as they grow, and that means less and less time to actually get them everywhere they need to be. Fortunately, there are rideshare options and carpool apps popping up all over the place to help busy parents with busy kids. Below are a few options we found that you might want to check out.
This service works via app and has highly vetted drivers—with five years of experience, fingerprinting, background checks, driving record checks and in-person meetings all required. There’s also a multi-factor authentication system to ensure pick-up of the right child.
Bonus: Parents can track rides from start to finish within the app. There’s also the option for live text notifications. The platform includes a Safe Ride Support system that monitors each ride in real time, staffed with 911 operators, EMTs, childcare specialists and parents.
Each ride is paid for in the app and is based on distance. Rides start at $17, and there’s a carpool option.
Read more about HopSkipDrive here.
This app operates as a carpool schedule organizer. With this app, parents should be able to forget the group texts and spreadsheets.
There are no paid drivers. Carpools through GoKid are by invitation only—you set up carpools in the app with other families you already know. The app then plans the optimal route to pick up and drop off each child; so the parent who is driving that day will know exactly where to go, and in what order. The app also has a feature that reminds the parent when it’s their turn to drive or when to send your kiddo out to get picked up.
The app is free, with in-app upgrades available for purchase—a subscription for $4.99 paid monthly, or $49.99 paid yearly. If you’re interested in trying the upgrade, your first month is free. The paid features include an in-app chat, live tracking of the driver, carpool history and more.
GoKid also offers GoKid Connect—a service that allows families within a school to find other families in the same school, searching by location and grade. In the app, parents can see what kind of carpools other families are looking for and reach out via the app. This allows you to expand your trusted network.
Alto is an app-based rideshare service that launched in North Texas in late 2018. The Alto app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.
All of Alto’s vehicles are managed by the company (which means they’re cleaned every day), and all drivers are W-2 employees. Each driver is background-checked twice, including a fingerprint background check; there’s also an in-person interview and a rigorous training course. Once on the road, the drivers are continuously monitored and even have their pay tied to their “safety score.”
Riders will always be picked up in a clearly identifiable Buick SUV with an Alto license plate and custom lights that light up when engaged from your Alto app. The cars also include non-audio technology to monitor safety in real time.
While there’s no designated in-app carpool feature at this time, multiple parents can have the app on their phone and arrange rides. Every car has six passenger seats, so it’s perfect for carpooling.
The cost of the ride is dependent on distance and time of travel, as well as whether the rider is a member or a guest. (Check Alto’s website for details on membership perks versus standard guest.) The trip price includes a service charge that supports driver pay and health benefits. But you don’t have to worry about tipping—there is no tipping with Alto.
This service is great for teens and pre-teens (VanGo has a minimum passenger age of 8 years). The service has highly vetted drivers—over 85% of drivers are moms—and many others are experienced nannies, teachers and babysitters. All drivers have at least three years of childcare experience and go through background and driving record checks, are fingerprinted, have vehicle inspections, provide family references and more.
The service works via app on Apple and Google platforms. All you have to do is register, set up your and your child’s profile, then set at least two locations. From there, you’ll receive your price quote and can schedule your first ride. Local rides (within 4–5 miles and 15–20 minutes) usually cost around $15, but ultimately the cost is dependent on total time and distance of the ride.
When scheduling a ride, you’ll input the date, locations, pick-up time, wait time, passenger (or passengers; there can multiple, hello carpool!), and pick-up instructions (what should the driver do when they arrive?).
After you have the pick-up arranged, you’ll provide the drop-off information. (You can input multiple pick-up and drop-off locations if needed.) After your request is submitted, a driver will be able to accept the ride.
Once a driver accepts and the ride is booked, you’ll be able to check out your driver’s profile, which will display their car and their experience.
After the ride is complete, parents have the ability to rate each ride and provide comments (which are anonymous and reviewed by VanGo’s team).
So are you interested in trying out ridesharing for your kiddo? Or maybe you’ve used one of these services before? Either way, tell us your thoughts; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information for each company is subject to change; visit the websites for updates and more information.
Image courtesy of Alto.