Glowing blue Uber badges, pink furry Lyft mustaches and now…Shuddle side-mirror cozies. Shuddle is the newest ride-sharing service to launch in the Bay Area, and it’s aimed right as us: parents with busy schedules and kids with places to go.
These Kids Are Going Places
The app was founded by Nick Allen who co-founded Sidecar, a ride-sharing service for the 18-and-up crowd. When he heard of parents sending their kids off the soccer practice in his cars, as well as others like Uber, he realized the need was there. “I thought, let’s go out and create the right service that’s designed for families and safe for kids,” says Allen. The app launched on iOs in October and has already been downloaded thousands of times.
The Right Fit For Families
Shuddle’s crew of drivers all must have childcare experience, a clean driving record, pass a vehicle inspection, and go through thorough background checks and in-person training with the company. As for the kids, they have to meet a few requirements as well: they must have a mobile phone and be old enough to ride without a booster seat. Riders each have a secret word known only to them, their families and their driver, and the rule is that you only get in the car once the driver has said your password. After that, parents can track the ride in real time using the app, and they will receive updates and confirmation of drop off via text message.
An Affordable Luxury
Although a private car service for kids may seem like something that only the wealthy would opt for, Shuddle’s rates make it an appealing option for many, especially those paying nannies $25 an hour or more to drive their kids to activities. Shuddle users must pay $9 per month for membership (Shuddle says this covers the cost for their top-notch insurance and extensive driver-vetting and- training process), and then the cost per ride, which is typically less that a taxi. Estimates are given in advance of the ride; unlike Uber or Sidecar, rides can’t be summoned on a whim, but must be scheduled in advance. The service is currently offered in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Burlingame, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View.
Would you use a service like Shuddle?
All images courtesy of Shuddle