A Different Kind of Carpool

By Carolyn Richardson

Parenting - HopSkipDrive

CareDrivers can make up to $30 an hour. Most HopSkipDrive drivers are parents, nannies or elementary and middle school teachers. PHOTOS COURTESY HOPSKIPDRIVE

Need to get each of your three kids to a different place at the same time? HopSkipDrive (www.hopskipdrive.com), a ride service started by three L.A. moms tired of struggling to get their children to various activities, could be the answer.

No, this isn’t Uber for kids. HopSkipDrive is more like an extension of your child’s caregiver. Drivers will follow your pick-up and drop-off instructions, walking in to sign your kids in or out of activities if needed. And it is popular. With less than a year in business, they already employ 150 drivers throughout the greater L.A. area. Call them if:

  • You don’t want to pass up an activity one child will love because it doesn’t fit your other child’s schedule,
  • You want to get home before the kids so you can start dinner before the nighttime rush,
  • You want to stay late at the office or stay at home sick without messing up your kids’ schedules, or
  • You want to expose your children to after-school activities that take place off campus.

The minimum age for HopSkipDrive riders is 7, and every driver is interviewed in person, submits to a nationwide background check and is registered with TrustLine. Drivers are required to have a minimum of five years of childcare experience and a clean driving record, and their vehicles are inspected by a licensed mechanic.

Parenting - HopSkipDrive

Busy professionals Carolyn Yashari Becher, Joanna McFarland and Janelle McGlothlin, left to right, founded HopSkipDrive after struggling to get their children where they needed to be.

Rides are arranged eight hours in advance, and you and your child receive a profile of the driver and car beforehand. During the ride, the HopSkipDrive app provides real-time tracking, live customer support and software to check driver behavior with safeguards to prevent CareDrivers’ use of cell phones while driving.

Rides within five miles and 30 minutes in length cost $12 to $20, with multiple-ride packages to lower the cost. There’s an additional fee for additional miles/minutes.

HopSkipDrive also serves as a friend when you’re in a crunch. One mom in labor used the service to get her two older kids to Grandma’s while she waited for her husband to arrive at the hospital. Yet another was at work when her child got a last-minute audition. He booked the job, and all she had to do was book the ride.

L.A. Parent readers new to the service can use the code “LAPARENT” for one free HopSkipDrive ride (value up to $20). Code must be entered when you book the ride.

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