We’ve all been there: one kid has to be at soccer practice at the same time your other kid starts her piano lesson, with no help or carpooling options. Or maybe you’re stuck at work. Or the school bus situation is rife with issues–perhaps a bully or a school bus driver who talks on her phone while driving. What’s a parent to do?
Founded by a group of New Jersey parents, RideAlong — which provides door-to-door pick-up and drop-off services for young riders — was conceived after what they called a “worrying” experience with a school bus ride. Founder Norbert Sygdziak was plagued by the question, How do we keep our kids safe and give our parents peace of mind?, with the belief there had to be a way to help kids get to and from school and their activities that didn’t jeopardize their well-being — while allowing parents to manage their own demanding schedules.
They knew the solution lay in community, as so many parenting quandaries are – and the RideAlong village was born.
“RideAlong was started by parents for parents because we understood the real need parents had on daily basis,” Sygdziak tells us.
Unlike other “Uber for kids” services that emphasize safety as RideAlong does, their service also focuses on community-building and accessible pricing — and offers proprietary security and vetting procedures to allay parents’ concerns. In fact, RideAlong families have the same driver every day, whom they know and trust. They also always know where their children are — with real-time contact and stop-by-stop notifications (phew!) — as well as who the other passengers are.
Never fear … RideAlong’s safety mission also extends to the current pandemic, putting all the necessary COVID-19 precautions in place, including mandatory masks, frequent sanitization and optional protective plexiglass dividers.
Prices start at $75 per week, and are always based on distance, not time traveled. Not to mention the value of stress-free transportation for your kids…? Priceless.
“The way our children get to school sets them up for the remainder of the day,” notes Sygdziak. “It has been proven that a safe, reliable, ride in a smaller group setting ensures that our children are not starting their day off stressed out.”
The founder hopes that their service not only makes things easier for parents, but also inspires people to rethink how we approach transportation for young people on a bigger scale.
“We at RideAlong believe that it’s time for kids transportation to take center stage and that real changes are needed,” says Sygdziak. “We will continue working with districts and parents across the country to make sure every child gets a safe and reliable ride each day.”