Uber for kids? New ride-sharing service looks to after-school market

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Car service for kids that is changing the carpool game

FBN's Hillary Vaughn talks to HopSkipDrive CEO Joanna McFarland about the new car service for kids.

A California startup hopes to reinvent the after-school transportation model with its kid-friendly, ride-sharing service called HopSkipDrive.

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According to the company, which was started by three moms in 2016, roughly 50% of students ride the bus after school, which costs schools about $24 billion.

“This is a massive market opportunity,” HopSkipDrive co-founder and CEO Joanna McFarland told FOX Business’ Hillary Vaughn on Tuesday. “[Our investor] saw that we were solving a huge pain point for families. And when you solve that problem, they are very loyal customers and stay with you for a very long time.”

HopSkipDrive abides by a 15-point certification process for its almost 2,000 drivers -- nearly all of whom are women -- which includes a fingerprinting, background checks and at least five years of childcare. To schedule a ride, users have to book from the app or website at least eight hours in advance.

So far, the company operates in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area and Denver. It’s raked in more than $20 million in funding since launching.

HopSkipDrive bills itself as safe, and a cheaper option than buses for schools. “School buses are great if you need to get to point A from point B,” McFarland said. “Oftentimes, school buses are heavily under-utilized, which makes them very expensive. We can do some of that transportation in a way that's much more cost effective and optimal for schools.”

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