Michele gets the requests once or twice a day – parents who want her to pick up or drop off their kids at school.
The Uber and Lyft driver, who lives near Stapleton, drives at the perfect time for it, usually in the early morning or in the afternoon.
But after a meeting with other drivers in Denver, Michele says she’s going to stop.
“I’ve stopped picking up teenagers,” she told Next. “When I show up, I ask their age and if they’re under 18, I advise them to tell their parent.”
Both Uber and Lyft have policies against transporting unaccompanied minors. It’s included in their terms of service when signing up for an account.
Both ride sharing companies confirmed to Next that they could cancel a parent’s account if they’re caught trying to hail a ride for a minor.
Drivers could also get in trouble with the company if they’re caught transporting minors, though the companies’ insurance policies would still cover them in the event of an accident.
A spokesman for Uber told Next drivers can refuse rides from anyone who appears to be underage with an explanation. Those drivers won’t be punished for the cancelled rides.
But Michele, who asked us not to use her last name, says she understands why some parents would want to do it. She was a single mom for years before her kids moved out of the house.
“I could see how its convenient to give a kid a ride,” she said. “In many ways it’s safer than the bus because they’re picked up at your door, they’re delivered to the door they need to go to and they’re not walking down a public street to get to a bus stop.”
But Uber and Lyft still craft policy against it.
Uber did tell Next they’re working on a potential ride sharing program for teenagers. They tested it in three markets and are waiting for results of that test.