Uber Is Launching a Ride Share for Teens

Uber driver holding smartphone in Volkswagen car Shutterstock

Uber is officially rolling out a ride-share service for teens (with a ton of added safety features)

As every parent of at least one teenager knows, the logistics of teen life can be a nightmare. Once they hit high school, kids suddenly become busy with a capital B—they have school, activities, sports, jobs, social lives. And they need a way to get to all of it. Uber thinks they have the solve.

To help parents avoid becoming round-the-clock chauffeurs for their teenage kids, the ride-share giant is rolling out a new service geared toward teens. And while parents (predictably) have some mixed feelings about this, it comes with a ton of new safety features to help keep kids as secure as possible while they use the app and take rides.

Uber for teens is currently available in select cities across the U.S. Parents can add teens (ages 13 to 17) to their own Uber accounts, allowing the kids to access the app on their own devices. They can then request their own rides as needed.

As for the safety features, parents get notified every time their kid requests a ride, and they can track the car and their teen at all times from the Uber app. Teens are required to use pin verification and RideCheck before getting into any car, and they (or their parent) can choose to record audio of the entire ride if they want to. Before they can request rides, teens need to complete a safety course. And only experienced, vetted drivers who have passed a background check will be allowed to accept rides from teen users.

Teens can even bring friends on the ride with them (as long as they’re at least 13 years old), but all underage riders need to sit in the back seat and buckle up.

While some parents see it as a helpful solution to the logistics of juggling their own schedules and multiple kids, others see it as a huge risk—kidnapping, assault, or worse.

But one family told ABC News that they tried out Uber for their 15-year-old and were pleasantly surprised.

“One kid needs to be picked up from school. Another kid needs to get to an activity. There’s a doctor’s appointment that you didn’t anticipate, so it’s a constant juggle,” mom Ruth Stern explained. “I couldn’t be two places at once and I could get my child home safely from a location and still be with my other child.”

Her 15-year-old daughter, Izzy, said she liked the experience of using Uber.

“As a girl, it’s scary. And sometimes, you don’t know what’s going to happen, but I felt really comfortable once getting in,” she said.

To see if Uber for teens is available in your city, check Uber’s website.


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