by Sara Lacey
With school just around the corner, parents will be looking to relatives and to each other — and anyone who catches their eye — for help getting their kids where they need to be. Carpools fill up quickly, and seat space is precious; what are we supposed to do when our kid can’t get a ride to climbing lessons or tuba practice? If “skip practice” was your guess, you need to up your game, and Uber is working on a solution.
Parents in Columbus, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; and Phoenix, Arizona, can rejoice, as Uber has launched teen accounts for kids over the age of 13. If parents have a Family Profile, they can invite their teen to join the Family Profile. When the teen joins, they can start using Uber like anyone else does.
But wait! What about possible Creepy Creepersons? Uber says that only certain drivers will be eligible to drive teens. Those who have received “consistently high ratings from our community of riders” will be able to take teens wherever their hearts (or parents) desire. No details yet on what those consistently high ratings are, so stay tuned.
Additionally, parents will not only have the driver’s name, picture, and vehicle details, they will be able to contact the driver directly as well. The big plus, however, is that there is live tracking during the ride so parents can see exactly where the Uber driver is taking their child during their trip.
Uber drivers carrying teens will get paid via the Family Profile, so whatever payment you choose for that will be the account used to pay fares. Parents will get an email copy of the receipt. Heads up: Uber allows the teen to choose the “vehicle option (uberX, uberXL, etc), the price displayed in the app before they request a ride is the fare they’ll be charged at the end of the trip. … As is the case with all Uber trips, if demand for rides is high when your teen requests a ride, the trip fare will reflect that.”
Uber also says, “Please note the base fare for teen trips may be higher in your city than the standard base fare.” Noted. By the way, teens cannot use uberPOOL or uberTAXI. But they can request rides at their whim. Parents do not approve or disapprove rides.
More details are available on the service’s website. Hopefully, this program will be a success so us moms and dads in the rest of the world can stop trying to figure out how to clone ourselves.