A Los Angeles start-up called HopSkipDrive wants to give parents the convenience of ride-hailing and comfort of a trusted sitter whenever they need to get their kids around town.
The company is one of a handful of transportation start-ups vying to become an "Uber for kids." Some, like Shuddl, have failed in this mission in the past and ultimately shut down.
One thing that's different about HopSkipDrive, according to CEO and co-founder Joanna McFarland, is that it's not trying to replace trusted school bus services, but to supplement them by picking up or dropping off kids when it isn't cost-effective to send a bus.
To that end, HopSkipDrive announced a partnership with Student Transportation, a public company that provides school bus services to different districts in the U.S. Student Transportation will encourage schools to use the HopSkipDrive app, in conjunction with its own scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs.
"We really think of ourselves as caregivers on wheels, and not just a ride-hailing app," McFarland told CNBC. Unlike Uber and Lyft, HopSkipDrive fingerprints prospective drivers and ensures they all have had at least 5 years of professional experience working with kids.
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