Schoolber Kicks Off On First Day Of School
The school gates have opened, and Schoolber, a ride-sharing service for schoolchildren, also got its first real start on Tuesday (Jan 3, 2017).
The application, exclusive to Singapore, is like carpooling or Uber, but for children — kids are being sent to school by parents whose kids go to the same school.
Schoolber drivers are parents who make school runs to fetch children living in their vicinity for a fee. Rates and pairings vary based on the number of passengers, distance (up to 2km from one another) and whether the kids are travelling one or two-way.
Madam Wendy Loh, a housewife who signed up as a driver, has two passengers who live no more than 500m from her house. She told Today that she expects to make $220 a month for sending the two, together with her own two children, to Tao Nan Primary.
The mobile service application was founded by entrepreneur couple Toni Teh and Charlemagne Lim.
The idea came to Mr Teh when he was sending his 9-year-old son to school and spotted a group of his classmates waiting at the bus stop. He soon found himself inundated with requests.
However, the app appears to have some issues that need to be ironed out. A user on the Schoolber Facebook page reported an error on Dec 26, 2016, the day the app became available for download:
On Tuesday (Jan 3), the first day of operations, some complained on Today’s Facebook page about the cost:
But at least one complaint seems to have been related to another technical problem:
Some also had trust issues with letting kids take other people’s cars. A fair share of critics feel the safety of the children could be at risk. Understandably, some parents would be uncomfortable leaving their kids in the hands of a complete stranger with no responsibility to ensure safety.
Many who support the service, though, see how it would be a boon for parents who lack the time to send their children to school, yet crave a more intimate service compared to school buses.
Those who gripe over rising school bus fees were rejoicing at the extra choices for them and competition for bus companies – with one pointing out that the kids’ welfare should be the priority.
Sending Kids Safely To School
Only time will tell whether Schoolber is a success, but I’m sure parents everywhere will hope it is, so their precious children can get to school safely.
Featured image from Schoolber Facebook page.