New Uber feature would let teens ride alone

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Parents are nervous because they don’t want their children to use ride-shares alone. Uber will soon allow 13 to 17-year-olds to travel alone for the first time.

Uber, the ride-share company, explained they made this feature to make life easier for parents needing to juggle work and getting their kids to where they need to be. However, this does create safety concerns that parents are wary of.

WINK News spoke with several drivers on Friday, who said it should be the driver’s choice to pick up the teen. And that it goes against his better judgment to allow an unaccompanied teen in his car.

And it’s not just drivers thinking this way. WINK News spoke with parents, saying they don’t like the idea either.

Catherine Lelus and Chad Bushley, Southwest Florida residents, clearly stated how they felt letting their teen ride in an Uber alone.

“That makes me really nervous it really does,” Lelus said.

“It’s a little bit scary to think that essentially kids would be able to get in an Uber by themselves,” Bushley said.

Soon parents will be allowed to put their teens alone in an Uber.

The teen accounts will have additional safety features that are automatically turned on and can’t be turned off. Despite that, parents remain wary of the concept.

“I have two daughters, 2 and a half now 3 months, so the thought of them being 13 and 17 years old in an Uber by themselves is scary, not knowing the driver, not really know who, what they could be doing, it’s scary for sure,” Bushley said.

“I think it’s a bad idea. Just… it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for adults sometimes depending on what city you’re in so who’s to say that it won’t be as dangerous, or more dangerous, for a child,” Lelus said.

Patrick Hoffman, an Uber driver, told WINK News how the changes feel to him.

“I dont feel safe as a driver,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman has been an Uber driver for the last four years. He explained in the past, and he’s had teens try to get in his car by using their parent’s Uber account.

“Some of these rides are 10, 15 miles away I find out they’re 16, 17 years old I had to cancel the ride, and I dont get paid for it, especially with gas prices,” Hoffman said.

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