-- The latest ride-sharing service is called Shuddle, but it's not for everyone. It's sort of like Uber for kids.
Shuddle is a ride-sharing app for families that launched in San Francisco this month. The service allows parents to schedule paid rides for their children through a monthly subscription, plus fares.
Prior to Shuddle, founder Nick Allen was a cofounder of Sidecar, another ride-sharing service that currently offers rates 10 percent lower than regular taxi cabs.
“After it got going [the business] we started seeing parents who wanted put their kids in the car and we weren’t equipped for that,” Allen told ABC News. “So after reading an article in the New York Times, I got the idea to build something for parents and kids.”
Allen, who is not a parent, explained his venture to be a service that could be in high demand.
“People have very busy lives these days and they are trying to do what they can to get their kids to activities,” he said.
After making deals with a series of investors, Shuddle launched this year, and the differences lie much more than in the demographic.
Unlike other fast-growing car services, customers cannot book Shuddle cars on demand. The first step is downloading the app and enrolling in the membership program. The monthly membership fee is $9, which is waived for an introductory offer, Allen said.
After creating an account for your family you choose the pickup and drop-off locations. Shuddle then identifies your child’s driver by name, photo, and car. Your child is only able to ride without the need of a child safety seat, according to the company policy.
In addition to a price lower than a cab fee, Shuddle offers families piece of mind.
“There’s a secret password so you’ll know that it’s your appropriate driver,” said Allen. “You can see on the app where the driver is heading to and from, and there’s a support team that can see if there’s anything out of the ordinary.”
Shuddle currently has over 100 drivers, all of whom must pass national and local background checks. In addition, every driver must have experience working with children. “We take that very seriously,” Allen said.
In the future, Shuddle has intentions of expanding its fleet beyond San Francisco.
“The idea is to be a nationally recognized brand helping families and we are off to a good start,” said Allen. “It’s very safe for everybody involved and that’s what our business is all about; creating that environment everyone can trust, for drivers, parents, and passengers.”