school bus. Others get picked up by their parents or nannies, or by carpool with other parents. Some walk or ride their bikes, or take public transportation. But Baily Deeter of Atherton, CA, simply hits a button on his iPhone and orders a cab from
14-year-old Deeter isn’t the only one, either. According to Brian Solis, an analyst at the San Mateo-based Altimeter Group, in speaking with
Bloomberg, «Having an
Uber account is a growing trend, especially among high schoolers, reflective of the trust-based sharing economy.» Solis is among those parents who relies on the service for transporting their kids, funding his 17-year-old son’s Uber account.
Rocco Danese – a 13-year-old kid from Brooklyn also
profiled by the Bloomberg report – takes the subway to and from school, but uses Uber once or twice a week to get home from soccer practice in Manhattan when it ends late.
Although kids can’t set up their own Uber accounts, parents (like the Deeter, Solis and Danese families) can set them up and allow their children access, or remotely order a ride for their kid. The service allows parents to see who the driver is and track the ride, and some parents use a
GPS tracking app like Find My Friends or Life360 to monitor their child’s ride.
These technologies make such services safer than simply putting a child or teen in an non-trackable taxi, but certainly raises questions about the safety of trusting a stranger to transport your child. This past summer,
one passenger claimed he was temporarily kidnapped by an Uber driver trying to evade police. In January, an Uber driver
struck and killed a six-year-old pedestrian.
The limitations on children’s accounts means that companies like Uber and
Lyft can’t accurately track how many kids are using their services, but it appears to be a growing trend. Let us know what you think in the poll below.