It might seem crazy to use an Uber-type service for your kids, but it’s actually happening right here in our area. Two local moms formed a ride-sharing company just for families, so it’s safe and puts parents and children at ease.
Ali Lucas and Lori Pollock, both from Peters Township, started Kid Lift a year ago. It’s a transportation service to help parents get kids to activities, the orthodontist, the mall or anyplace.
“We’re moms. We’re busy moms,” Lucas said. “We know the need of trying to get everyone everywhere and how hard it is.” Pollock adds, “A lot of working parents, their (kids’) activities are scheduled at 4. They can’t get there, so we’re there to help them.”
Lucas is one of the drivers and regularly drives Olivia, Whitney and Billy Kiray from school to their home in South Fayette to dance and hockey, all while their parents are at work.
Dad Bill Kiray says, “It was really a lifesaver for us,” after his wife went back to work and wasn’t available to drive the right kids after school. Kiray says carpooling and grandparents weren’t an option, so Kid Lift is a perfect solution so 14-year-old Olivia and 10-year-old Whitney can keep up with their classes at Ultimate Dance Complex in Peters.
Whitney says her friends and dance teacher were shocked when she told them she took an “Uber” to dance but that she likes it. “I just like how it takes me to my dance, and that’s kind of my passion,” she says.
Kid Lift differs from Uber in several ways. First, the drivers all have clearances, including FBI, child abuse, and criminal background checks. Their driving records are posted on their website. The driver texts a photo of herself in advance so the child knows who’s coming.
Kid Lift drivers also text the parent when they pick up and drop off the child, and if the parents would like, the kids can Facetime or Skype with the parents while they’re in the car so they can actually see that everything’s OK. The drivers are willing to meet with a family in advance if that would make them feel more comfortable, especially when the children are pretty young. They’ve driven kids as young as 3.
Kid Lift rides are usually scheduled in advance. A ride up to 5 miles is $12. Six-10 miles is $17. There are discounts for recurring rides or $5 extra for last-minute rides.
Right now, Kid Lift only has about 10 to 20 regular families and they operate only from Downtown Pittsburgh to the South Hills, but they hope to expand to other areas soon. They’re looking for more drivers and more funding right now.