STRESSED OUT mums are turning to a Californian – just for children – cab service that has been described as, “Uber for kids”.
HopSkipDrive was, “created by moms, driven by love”, and started by three busy mothers with careers in law, technology and branding, in Los Angeles, California.
They were struggling to get their eight children to five different schools and 17 extra-curricular activities on time and decided to set up a secure taxi service just for children.
The three mothers have raised over $14m investment since launching and are now rolling out the cab service to San Francisco, the Bay Area and Orange County.
Founder member Carolyn Yashari said she didn’t want to be compared to regular taxi companies and added: “We really think of ourselves as caregivers on wheels because the background of our drivers is so different.”
“Our parents are as diverse as you can imagine but the one thing they all have in common is that they want the best for their children.”
Drivers for HopSkipDrive, most of whom are women, have to pass a 15-point security check, have at least five years’ childcare experience and are forbidden from making phone calls or texting when they have fare-paying children in their car.
Journeys must be booked at least eight hours in advance and cost $16 (£12) for a single ride to $10 for a shared trip. Each ride is monitored by the company and parents can keep an eye on their children with a mobile app.
Bonnie Rhow (40) said she was turning into a “mad, crazy woman” trying to get her 7, 11 and 13 year old daughters to their hip-hop, ballet and volleyball training, until she found the Los Angeles cab service for children.
I was dying, very unhappy, until I discovered HopSkipDrive. It has been life-changing for me. I spend about $60 a week with the company and I am no longer running myself ragged. On Friday afternoons I can now call some friends over and we’ll do a happy hour because we don’t have to pick up our kids.