It has been touted as the safest ride outside the yellow bus, and several area school districts are partnering with a service called HopSkipDrive.
HopSkipDrive is designed to complement traditional school transportation, which these days has become dicey amid a shortage of bus drivers.
It’s very similar to the ride-sharing app on our phones, but it’s for the kids. Some people are split on the thought of the whole idea, though.
“A student with special needs may need transportation to an appointment, or students in foster care may move homes late at night and need transportation to school in the morning,” said HopSkipDrive Senior Vice President of Marketing Miriam Ravkin.
Multiple districts across Metro Detroit are already using HopSkipDrive to help students with a ride that may be homeless, in foster care, or those with disabilities. Think of it as an Uber, but the district and the parent set up the pick-up and drop-off location.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said grandparent Gene Dickerson.
Dickerson is excited that students will have extra resources to get to school.
“I don’t think anything is too advanced nowadays,” Dickerson said. “Technology is evolving so fast that it’s impossible to say that something is too fast.”
“Rides can originate at any destination, for instance, a morning ride to school may mean a student gets picked up from their house and dropped off at school, or a student could be picked up at school and then taken to an appointment,” Ravkin said.
One parent said she doesn’t even trust the traditional transportation system, so she’s definitely not trusting a stranger.
“Just a random person, like no,” said the woman. “I’ve seen school bus drivers run red lights, cut people off.”
“It is very important that you have the appropriate people driving the busses because it’s a very, very serious situation,” Dickerson said. Responsible for a lot of lives.”
However, according to those at the company, safety is everything at HopSkipDrive.
“Safety is everything at HopSkip Drive,” Ravkin said. “Care drivers are highly qualified individuals who have at least five years of caregiving experience, and they go through multiple background checks and vehicle inspections to ensure the safety of every ride.”
Those hoping to apply can click here.