Opinion

Under 18? Please don’t ride alone.

Did you know it is against Uber and Lyft policy for riders under 18 to ride alone?

I am a father and a driver, and I am here to tell you, please do not let your kids ride alone.

While this meme and the caption to go with it is pretty funny, it should serve as a reminder that if you are in middle school, high school or elementary school (yes, even elementary school kids book rides) it is against policy to ride without a parent or guardian that is over 18 years old.

While I want to promote Uber and Lyft as being 100% safe, that would be a lie. There have been numerous complaints (and convictions) of sexual assault not only towards riders but drivers as well. While we can get into the debate of fingerprints and stricter background checks, (which I am all for) those things alone will not prevent sexual assault.

If you have been following us, you know there is not a shortage of Shady Drivers. Background checks can not prevent these drivers from coming on the platform and doing shady things. Fingerprints are only useful when they match those found at the scene of a crime. It’s a start, but it is far from perfect.

Oh, and let’s not forget how drivers work under their relatives or friend’s accounts. The reasons why they do this vary, but one thing is for certain: They can not pass a background check. They will still drive. (I personally got into a Uber that the guy driving was about 50 years older than his picture). This is such a big problem that Uber has started to require drivers to take selfies randomly between rides. Of course there is always a way around this as well.

My kids always take a Uber or Lyft, how come drivers never say anything?

I get this question a lot as a driver when I refuse kids. The simple answer is, drivers are hungry for rides. While cheap rides may make you happy, remember, the driver is getting a percentage of what you are paying, which is usually about 60 cents (if no surge) After booking fees and whatnot, you may pay $6, but we are getting $2.44 as a minimum payout. Basically, if your driver gets stuck doing short rides, it becomes a numbers game and they simply can’t afford to refuse your child a ride.

Which brings me to another point. Even the dumbest drivers would figure out at one point or another that a kid at 7 am is likely going to school, which means a short trip and not worth the time or hassle right? Are those the drivers you want driving your kids?

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