Should a Ride-Sharing Service Replace Your Carpool?

My daughter dances ballet. A lot. Thankfully, we created a carpool with a few other dance-loving families nearby. So now we only shlep our daughter 40 minutes to class once or twice a week, rather than four or five times. But one of the mums wants to simplify things even more—and delegate her driving duty to Uber or Lyft.

And it’s definitely tempting. I imagine all the things I could get done instead of braving rush-hour traffic and hairspray fumes. (I could write this story. Or cook dinner. Or just do blissfully, absolutely nothing.)

Clearly, other mums in the area have succumbed to the temptation. I’ve heard plenty of stories of kids as young as seven or eight being picked up from activities by ride-sharing services. But I just don’t feel comfortable with strangers driving my kids around.

I’m not cool with the amount of vetting Lyft and Uber drivers receive. 

Yes, they get a criminal background check and a driving record check, but some bad eggs slip through the cracks. Recently, a number of sexual assaults by Uber drivers have come to light—and of course, there was the person who was allegedly picking up Uber riders during a murderous rampage. Maybe I have trust issues, but it’s already hard for me to let my fellow mums to do driving duty—let alone a perfect stranger. That’s especially important as my daughter, who lives the furthest away from the ballet school, would likely be the one left alone with the driver on a regular basis.

It’s not cool with Uber and Lyft. 

The most popular ride-sharing services both require that riders under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. If not, the driver should refuse the ride. It seems that plenty of drivers in my area ignore that rule. But what happens if they don’t? Then we need to find another ride ourselves—and our kids are stranded until we can make new arrangements. (The parents could lose their Uber or Lyft privileges if the driver reports them.)

A few ride-sharing services tailored to kids and families popped up to fill the void, including Hop Skip Drive and Zum, but unfortunately, they don’t serve our area yet.

My daughter’s not ready for it. 

My daughter is not cool with the idea of Uber or Lyft doing the driving. And since she’s usually pretty independent—she walks a mile to school with her friends every day, has begged to head to New York City on her own, and spends weeks away from us each summer at ballet camp—I’m confident that we’re making the right choice.

Fortunately, it’s only a few years until my daughter gets her driver’s license, and we’ll add a new level of worry to her ballet commute. But until then, I’m on carpool duty—and so are my fellow dance mums.

 

Image via Getty