Transportation upstart Shuddle targets busy families with kids
Thanks to new funding, UBER could soon be worth more than some of the biggest companies on Wall Street.
So it's no wonder similar car services keep popping up.
One based in California is offering families an alternative to the school bus.
The new upstart car ride service is targeting busy parents with busy kids.
Shuddle, employs two hundred mostly female drivers.
"These are baby-sitters, childcare providers, nannies, teachers, and they all go through a deep set of background checks," said Nick Allen, Shuddle CEO.
Parents can monitor their child's scheduled rides through the company's mobile app.
Kids under eighteen using the service must carry a texting-enabled phone, which allows them to be contacted by drivers.
A secret password authenticates the pickup.
"There's GPS tracking the whole way. Parents are notified when the driver's on the way, when they arrive to the location, when they depart, when they drop the passenger off. We also have full monitoring going on by members of our staff," said Allen.
Even so, Shuddle isn't picking up endorsements from everyone.
For some, the use of a car service to cart kids is around adds more concern than convenience.
"This is part of what it means to be a parent; you get your kids up in the morning, you make sure they're dressed properly, that their homework is done, and you get them to school," said Susan Patton, the Princeton Mom
Others say the trend is just the market responding to consumer demand.
"The wonderful thing about markets is that they give us choice of different ways to go. And one of the things that Uber and other ride sharing services do is they allow us to assess the level of trust including your own," Matt Welch, Reason editor-in-chief.
"We're not a daycare facility. We are a transportation service and we do a number of things from end to end that really creates a mesh with safety," Allen said.
Shuddle launched in the suburbs of San Francisco and is focused on expanding across the bay area,
But after investment firms coughed up about $12.5 million in funding, the start-up now plans to go national.
"We haven't announced exactly where we're going yet but the idea is to build a national brand that parents and families can trust," Allen continued.