|A ride as safe as mom's?|
Shuddle was designed to provide parents with a viable option for a child-minded taxi service. Subject to proper screening (criminal record search, experience with children, and positive past job references), Shuddle's launch has led to more than 100 approved drivers to date (all females).
Parents will book their Shuddle rides no later than 10am the day before and will get a driver profile emailed to them, including a photograph, driving history and reviews. A password will provided by the assigned Shuddle driver to the parents prior to the children entering into this default taxi service, to confirm authenticity. Parents will strictly pay by credit card and, in addition, will be charged a monthly retainer fee of USD 9.00.
The resultant outcome, if it all comes together, will be a new service across North America that will provide a cheaper alternative to that of expensive taxis.
Of course it will likely just take one or two incidents to potentially cause a public relations nightmare for Shuddle. The day a child gets kidnapped, or there is a serious car accident, the uproar could derail this business during its initial launch. Optimistically, however, it is unlikely that one very bad experience will dampen the market demand for a reliable, secure and affordable option for parents desperately looking for someone to shuttle their kids to activities.
In a perfect world, parents would do this job full-time, but in an era of two parents working to make ends meet, this service will likely grow exponentially.