Founded by three California moms looking to solve their own transportation challenges, HopSkipDrive hit Denver streets in April. The ride-hailing service for kids is the first of its kind in Denver, making it easy for busy Denver-area parents to get their children safely to and from school and extracurricular activities.
“We built HopSkipDrive with our own kids in mind,” says Joanna McFarland, co-founder and CEO. “From the beginning, it was all about what would be safe enough for our kids and how we [could] design this so we as moms would feel comfortable using this for our kids.”
The result is a service McFarland calls “caregivers on wheels”—a safe transportation solution for kids. “CareDrivers,” as HopSkipDrive drivers are called, are fully vetted through a rigorous 15-point certification process including background check, fingerprinting, vehicle inspection, driving record checks, and in-person screenings. All CareDrivers must be at least 23 years old and have a minimum of five years of childcare experience—many of their drivers are nannies, moms, and teachers. CareDrivers wear bright orange shirts and follow instructions from parents for pickup and dropoff, whether its going in to the school to sign Johnny out for the day or making sure Suzy waves goodbye before walking into dance class.
Parents can schedule rides for kids age six and up, seven days a week, and at least eight hours before pickup, online or via the HopSkipDrive app. Once a rider is matched with a CareDriver, the parent receives a picture and bio of the driver and a personalized code word for their child. Throughout the ride, parents have access to live monitoring within the app and receive notifications at pickup and dropoff, as well as a dedicated team of safety specialists monitoring each ride.
Rides start at $15 for a single family, and $6 per family to carpool.