Forty-four percent of working parents spend five hours or more per week driving kids to and from school and activities, according to a report commissioned by HopSkipDrive.
Add more kids and more activities, and the driving—including the stress from disrupting work to do it—can become unmanageable.
Tom Gott, a father of two himself, decided that families need a safe, reliable solution to “balance the busy.” That’s how the child transportation service Trusted Rides came to be.
Gott and business partner Michelle Exoo, are now expanding the ride-sharing business from their home base in Grand Rapids to Cincinnati. Cincinnati Future spoke with Gott about Trusted Rides and his plans for expansion.
The customer side
Here’s how the program works: Customers download the Trusted Rides app and schedule a ride like they would with any ride-share service. Parents book a ride (rides can be scheduled up to six months in advance). Once the transaction is complete, the parent receives a 30-second video of the driver who will be picking their child up, a picture of the driver, a picture of a password that their child will use to connect with the driver.
“Once the child is in the car, a parent will get a text informing them. The parent can watch the whole ride via video from their phone. At the end of the ride, the parent will get another text letting them know their child has arrived,” Gott explained.
The physical safety of the car’s occupants extends beyond security measures. “Our drivers use an UV wand in the vehicle before and after every ride, which reduces bacteria and viruses,” Gott said.
The drivers go through a rigorous interview process, which includes a road test and full FBI background check. “We also do a 21-point inspection on their vehicle,” Gott said.
Expansion to Cincinnati
So why did Gott and Exoo choose Cincinnati as their next place to expand?
“My wife’s former college roommate lives in Madeira. We visit a lot so I’m familiar with the area. She has made a large number of introductions for us. And after doing some data analysis, it made good business sense,” said Gott.
Trusted Drivers will be hiring 20-25 drivers in the Cincinnati market. You can click here to see the requirements and to apply.
Gott says that during COVID-19, the activity slowed down a bit but he used the time to make some deals with companies that want to offer the service at a discount as an added benefit to their employees.
“Our goal is to offer parents a safe alternative to getting their kids from point A to point B,” Gott said.