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February 17, 2015

Shuddle: The Uber for kids

Rideshare program aimed at helping busy parents

Transportation Rideshare
02172015_Shuddle Shuddle/Facebook

Shuddle is like Uber for kids.

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are growing in popularity among college students and adults. 

Now busy families can take advantage of such services with Shuddle, a rideshare business designed for transporting children and seniors.

The San Francisco-based transportation service, which launched last fall, is targeted at busy parents who need help transporting their children - or elderly loved ones - around town. 

The company will "shuddle" your loved ones "from home to school to soccer practice, piano class and play dates and everything in between."

So how does it work? 

All you have to do is download the app, schedule a ride (up to a week in advance or as soon as noon the day before the ride), meet the driver and see your child off. Or, drivers can pick up your child from another location where you are not present using the "Shuddle Pass," a secret word chosen by your family that the driver will say to confirm identity at pick up. 

Shuddle costs $9 per month, plus ride fares, which are paid through the app using a credit card.

While the concept is tempting, especially for those with demanding schedules, many parents remain skeptical about trusting their children with strangers.

According to Shuddle's website, drivers must clear a criminal and DMV background check and attend driver training. They are often those with extensive family service and caregiving experience, such as nannies, teachers, camp counselors, nurses, care providers and parents. Furthermore, Shuddle says it's the "only rideshare service insured to transport kids."

The app also allows parents to track the journey in real-time and receive texts when the passenger has reached his or her destination.

Shuddle is available only in the San Francisco Bay area for now.