America has become a nation of dual-income working couples. Both spouses work in more than 66 percent of households, reports the Tax Foundation. Yet parents like Janelle McGlothlin and her husband didn’t want their three kids to miss out on enrichment opportunities because of commitments at the office.
“My husband and I were constantly negotiating about who would leave work early to take Gus to gymnastics or Mattie to dance and Ellie to karate,” remembers McGlothlin. “Even with full-time help, scheduling was a challenge and we wouldn’t trust our kids with just anyone.”
McGlothlin soon learned that she wasn’t the only working mom stressing about safely getting her kids everywhere they needed to go. After months of planning and research, including meeting with Zendrive, McGlothlin and two colleagues, Joanna McFarland and Carolyn Yashari Becher (also busy moms) , launched HopSkipDrive.
HopSkipDrive is a ride service for kids designed to help parents take some of the stress out of their family’s busy schedule. Created by three moms who understand the struggle of getting kids around town safely, the service currently operates in the Greater Los Angeles area. What makes HopSkipDrive truly unique, though, is its commitment to making the scheduling of rides with experienced caregivers called “CareDrivers” easy, convenient, and above all, safe.
Because the ride service was built to carry the founders’ kids it includes built-in, stringent safety features that help others feel confident putting their kids in the CareDrivers’ care. There’s a 15-point driver certification process that includes fingerprinting and TrustLine registration. There’s a live support team that watches every ride and also a way for parents to monitor their kids’ trips in real time through the app. Yet the founders wanted even more transparency into what was happening on every ride, which is why HopSkipDrive deployed Zendrive.
According to McGlothlin, “We use technology to solve lots of everyday problems so why not use it to help improve safety, too? Zendrive is an important layer of safety precaution that we’re providing to make parents and passengers feel confident about what is happening during every HopSkipDrive ride.”
Zendrive uses sensors on a smartphone to measure HopSkipDrive CareDriver driving and coach them over time to be better, safer CareDrivers . Zendrive’s driver-centric analytics take in a variety of signals to provide scores about how cautious, focused, and controlled a driver is at all times. It works by measuring speed, hard stops, fast accelerations and distracting cell phone use, while taking into account the weather, duration of the trip, time of day, and more. Thanks to Zendrive’s continuous monitoring, HopSkipDrive can ensure safer, smoother rides that kids trust and enjoy.
Although HopSkipDrive has thought through every step in the process, McGlothlin believes most parents, including she and her co-founders, have the same feeling the first time with HopSkipDrive as they have when they hire a new babysitter or send their child in the car with another child’s parent. “What’s different, though, is that we actually know more about our CareDrivers than most people know about a new babysitter—and that’s comforting,” says McGlothlin.
What do her kids think about the HopSkipDrive experience? McGlothlin is finding her son Gus, who is going to gymnastics to build strength and agility, has an added confidence. She confides, “It’s a new normal for all of us and the benefit for him is increased independence with the knowledge that we’ve taken every precaution to keep him safe.”