Ride Hailing Services for Teens & Preteens

Parent Q&A

  • Uber for tween/teen transport?

    (17 replies)

    Hi fellow parents, 

    My ex and I disagree about using Uber to transport our kids, a late tween girl and teen boy. 

    Can anyone contribute their thoughts, experiences, and wisdom to this discussion?


    My daughter uses it.  She won't get in a taxi because she feels unsafe, but with uber, she feels fine.  i got email notification of each trip.  The driver picture and license # get to her phone before they arrive so she knows its legit.  Downside is she gets lazy and takes uber instead of the bus when she could take bus, and so it adds up.  Overall, its been fantastic and saves me about 3 hours a day from what the driving i did before uber.

    Hi, AFAIK, neither Uber nor Lyft will accept unacommpanied minors. Neither will most taxi services!
    There are several child-only ride services now, with drivers who are carefully chosen (all moms, nannies, or teachers).
    We have successfully used:

    Zum - www.ridezum.com

    hopskipdrive - https://www.hopskipdrive.com/

    There is another one called Kanga, too.

    My son is 13 and is now riding AC Transit one afternoon!



    We are in SF, and I'm glad lyft/uber did not come on the scene in a big way until my kids were in their later high school years. Not sure exactly what your concern or differences in opinion are, but re: safety, personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a tween or early teen girl using it on their own.  Maybe in high school, start with taking it together with friends or her brother. 

    A separate issue for us is that we wanted our kids comfortable taking the bus and navigating the city on their own.  It's fine with me - preferably actually - that we let our kids be plebes and take the bus or carpool like everybody else.  Their teenagers, for cripes sake, they don't need to think they have to be chauffeured everywhere.

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Ex wants to shuttle young teens in UBER car

May 2014

My ex is going to want to use UBER car to occasionally shuttle our kids to/from events when it is not ''convenient'' for him because he's out socializing. I'm not sure what I think of this. Examples could be getting our 15 daughter home from the movies or a babysitting jobs at 9, 10 or 11 p.m. We also have a 12 yr old. I wouldn't want him taking UBER alone...but i wonder what age is okay...thoughts? Karen

I use UBER all the time for my 15 year-old. I am a single mom and can't be everywhere at once (I work, and I don't always use it when I'm out ''socializing'', but occasionally I do). Makes me feel just fine, as I am actually entitled to some me time once in a while. I haven't seen anything against this in Uber's Terms of Service, but you should email the company directly and see if this is allowed if you're concerned. In general, I use it for short rides and watch the status of the taxi on the map. I would probably not use it for a child younger than 14 or 15 unless s/he were accompanied by another older kid, but I've used it with great success.
Happy with Uber

My son has been Uber-ing around a lot since age 13. (He just turned 15.) It's been great and we have had absolutely no problems. I much prefer it over him taking a cab because he doesn't have to try to hail a cab from some odd location and there is an online record of exactly when, where and by whom he was picked up, and he doesn't have to give a tip. He really enjoys the independence, and has also met a lot of interesting people. It sometimes feels extravagant, but sometimes my only alternative was hiring a babysitter to pick him up someplace, and Uber is a lot less expensive than that. I'm also thinking ahead to the day when he is faced with taking a ride with someone who shouldn't be driving. He'll have Uber as an option, which I hope will make it easier for him to turn down a bad riding situation. ''No thanks, I'm going to take Uber'' or ''Let's just call Uber'' seems a lot easier for a teen to say than ''I'm going to call my mom.'' I haven't run into a lot of people doing this, but there was an article in the NY Times a few months ago about parents in NYC using Uber for their kids.
Uber Fan

Um, no way! Not even worth considering in my opinion...Maybe I'm overly cautious but I don't think I'd let my kids UBER, cab, etc alone (especially late at night) until they are 18 unless there was some very unusual circumstance and it was truly the only option. Think your ex needs to step up to his parenting responsibilities.
heck no

I happen to be reading this question while working backstage at the Code Conference (recode.net), and it may interest your ex to know that my boss just interviewed the CEO of Uber, and an audience member asked about using Uber to chauffeur kids around. The CEO was very clear that this is a bad idea. Later this year, he will roll out a service called Uber Family, only in NYC to start, using only the highest-rated drivers, and test the waters. Basically, your ex is hoping to use the service in a way that is super duper NOT how the service is meant to be used, which puts both his children and the drivers at serious risk as there are significant insurance issues at hand. So. That's awesome.
So it's not quite available yet, but you should definitely check out Shuddle (www.shuddle.us) as it sounds like the perfect solution. The convenience of UBER, but safety checked and focused exclusively on transporting kids. Disclosure: My friend is CEO. I can't wait to have this as an option. Busy mom
I would not send my sitter home in a Uber car, if I hire a non-driving babysitter, it is my job to get him/her to/from my home. If I need a sitter who can get him/herself to/from my home, I pay more for a licensed driver. But would I allow my 12 or 15 to use Uber for transportation? I guess... if I'd exhausted all other options! parenting takes time