Uber for kids? Shuddle wants to be car ride service for children

An upstart car ride service is targeting busy parents with busy kids.

Nick Allen is the CEO of Shuddle.

"When it comes to busy families their needs are different and we wanted to set out to design something that met those needs," says Allen.

The Shuddle transportation service employs two hundred drivers, most of them are women.

"These are baby-sitters, childcare providers, nannies, teachers, and they all go through a deep set of background checks."

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," says Allen. "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."

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 including Susan Patton, who's known as the Princeton Mom.

"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," says Patton.

Others, like the Editor-In-Chief of Reason Matt Welch, 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," says Welch. "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."

"We're not a daycare facility," says Allen. "We are a transportation service and we do a number of things from end to end that really creates a mesh with safety."

Shuddle launched in the suburbs of San Francisco and is focused on expanding across the Bay Area, but after investment firms coughed up about twelve and a half million dollars 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."