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Simplifying Science

Ride Sharing

Ride sharing, like R-rated movies, is not meant for kids without an adult present. Or at least without an adult involved somewhere in the transaction. Who knew? 

Not me, and I know a bit about ride-share, given that I have worked with Zemcar, a Boston-based ride-share company dedicated to safe and secure child transportation. Still, in my hometown of Los Angeles, I can no longer count the number of times kids arrive at or leave from my house in Lyfts and Ubers. Yes, they do it with their parents’ knowledge (and permission), and most of them have a pretty sophisticated safety system in place that involves snapping a picture of the car’s license plate and then one of the driver in a way that the driver can see the picture is being taken. The girls in particular tell me that they text the images to a parent, dictating a text message about getting into the car and sharing the car and driver info, spoken loudly so that the driver can hear. 

This piece from Vox takes a deep dive into ride sharing for kids. It honors the transportation realities we all face, while also pointing out the legalities of this business. I found it pretty compelling, mostly because it opened up several threads of conversation with my kids about my comfort with any and all of this. As parents, we are all going to make our own safety calls. If you are on the fence about ride-share, this article may help you figure out your own comfort zone while suspending judgment of others.

Richard Tran lives with his aunt a mile and a half away from his high school in the suburbs of Orange County, California. That means it’s about a 30-minute walk away, but as a teenager, he doesn’t have a half hour to waste lugging home a heavy backpack. Those 30 minutes could be used for homework or video games, a quick nap or a solid scroll through social media.

It occurred to Tran one afternoon that, instead of walking, he could call an…READ MORE