San Francisco-based startup Shuddle has announced a new app that helps parents book rides to get their children to school and extra-curricular afternoon activities. Shuddle’s new carpooling app means parents pay much less for their children’s daily rides, which helps to make the service available to parents who cannot normally afford individual rides.
“We’ve heard people say that at $15 or $16 a ride, is that really a service all busy families can access?” Carly Lutz, Shuddle’s senior vice president of family experience said. “We feel very strongly that at $8 a ride, it starts to become more available and accessible to a broader group.”
Shuddle currently offers carpooling rides at the promotional price of $8 per family regardless of the distance or time of the ride. Once the offer ends, the rides will still be priced lower than typical services because parents will be sharing the cost. Parents are expected to save between 30% and 50% per ride.
Using app-based geolocating technology, Shuddle lets parents design carpool rides with other families:
“This new service is absolutely our number one focus,” Shuddle CEO Nick Allen said. “It has the potential to bring our [Shuddle] experience to a broader group at a lower price point.”
The service offers two options: either students are picked up from different points and dropped off at a single place, or they are picked up from a single point and dropped off at separate destinations. It’s a structure families are already familiar with, Lutz says.
The parent has to summon a driver at least one hour before the designated ride.
For safety, Shuddle ensures its drivers have child care experience and that the company is compliant with California Public Utilities Commission screening rules pertaining to services addressed to minors. Among other practices, Shuddle users fingerprint Trustline background checks for drivers.
Lutz highlighted the company’s experience in offering thousands of safe rides, saying that Shuddle is an improvement on a system parents have been using for decades:
“Families already like to use carpools because it saves each family valuable time, and kids and teens like carpools because they can ride with their friends, but often the reality of scheduling a carpool can be a lot of work. Shuddle Carpool makes it easy to schedule a carpool with trusted and reliable drivers, giving families their time back, and giving the kids the independence and fun of having their own scheduled rides for school pick-ups, drop-offs, and everything in between.”
Designed by parents for parents, as Shuddle states in a press release, the service was the brainchild of engineers, designers and moms who after extensive research and testing offered an app that’s user-friendly and advanced enough to meet the needs of children.