HopSkipDrive Releases Inaugural Survey on State of Back to School Transportation in America

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Findings reveal parents struggle to get children where they need to go, lack reliable transportation options and even put jobs in jeopardy to drive their families.

With children heading back to school around the country, HopSkipDrive, the safe and dependable ride service that helps parents get their kids where they need to go when they're not able to do so themselves, today released its inaugural survey on the State of Back to School Transportation in America. The survey provides a comprehensive look at the challenges parents face when the new school year brings changes to families’ transportation schedules. The survey was conducted online with Google Consumer Surveys among 1,001 adults who are working parents with kids between the ages of 6 and 17.

HopSkipDrive is the trusted transportation solution that thousands of families rely on across Los Angeles, Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area. As the only ride service for kids with a live customer service team that monitors each ride from start to finish in real time, HopSkipDrive gives parents the confidence that their kids are being transported safely and securely every minute of every ride. The CareDrivers, who are caregivers on wheels, have at least five years of childcare experience and a track record of success in working with kids. CareDrivers must pass a highly selective 15-point certification process that includes fingerprinting and background checks - similar to those for people who work at schools.

“We’re thrilled to share the results of our inaugural State of Back to School Transportation in America survey to shed light on the challenges families face,” said Joanna McFarland, co-founder and chief executive officer of HopSkipDrive. “This survey validates what we hear from our customers and experience ourselves as working parents - that families often need to be in multiple places at the same time, which puts tremendous stress on the entire family and forces both parents and children to make sacrifices. We created HopSkipDrive so parents don’t have to deny their kids the tutoring they need, the opportunity to attend the school that is the best fit for them or the chance to participate in the enriching after-school activities they love like soccer or dance.”

Here are the key findings of HopSkipDrive’s survey on the State of Back to School Transportation in America.

The Challenge of Conflicting Priorities
Being a working parent is tough, and the constant push and pull of work and home life is a struggle that lasts the entire school year. With 60% of kids living in a home where both parents work (according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics), and with kids participating in more after-school activities than ever (an average of 5+ hours per week according to a report by the Society for Research in Child Development), it's no surprise that parents can't always juggle it all.

  • A whopping 40% of parents say their regular work schedule is affected on at least a weekly basis because they need to drive a child to school or an extracurricular activity.
  • Almost half (47%) of parents report that their work schedule has prevented their child from participating in an extracurricular activity. Interestingly, men and women experience the same grief when it comes to preventing their child from participating in an extracurricular activity (men at 45% and women at 49%).
  • 27% of parents feel like they have put their job at risk in order to meet their child’s transportation needs.

Back to School, Back to Stress
Parents and kids are busier than ever and “back to school” is becoming synonymous with “get back in the car.” Sports and other after-school activities are a blast for kids, but a 3:00 p.m. practice or tutoring session can be almost impossible for families to manage, especially for the millions of parents who can’t leave the office until at least 5:00 p.m. Often the matrix of coordinating carpools and babysitters can feel like a full time job of its own.

  • The need for a solution can’t be denied when 44% of parents spend 5 or more hours a week driving to and from school and/or extracurricular activities.
  • 14% of parents spend 10 or more hours driving to and from school and/or extracurricular activities.
  • Of parents who reported spending 10 or more hours a week driving to and from school and/or extracurricular activities, 42% felt they have put their job at risk in order to meet their child’s transportation needs.
  • According to 20% of parents, managing a new transportation schedule is the worst part of their child going back to school.
  • 35% of parents say managing their child’s school and extracurricular transportation arrangements is more stressful than filing their taxes.

Unreliability in Getting from point A to point B
Parents are struggling to get into a routine as it is, but with carpool changes, babysitters canceling and budget cuts leaving many school districts unable to offer bussing, the reliability of transportation has never been more uncertain.

  • The neighborhood carpool is a necessity for most parents, but it’s not without flaws as 7% of families say their carpool arrangements fall through once a week.
  • Dependability in transportation overall leaves something to be desired with nearly a third (29%) of parents saying their child’s current transportation situation is only somewhat dependable or not dependable at all. Of parents spending 10 or more hours a week driving to and from school and/or extracurricular activities, 37% say their child’s transportation is somewhat dependable or not dependable at all, meaning they are left in a constant scramble.

These findings, along with more information about HopSkipDrive, the safe and dependable ride service for kids, are available on HopSkipDrive’s blog http://www.hopskipdrive.com/blog.

About HopSkipDrive:
HopSkipDrive is the safe and dependable ride service that helps parents get their kids where they need to go when they're not able to do so themselves. Founded by three working moms who understand the challenges busy families face, HopSkipDrive puts parents in control with notifications at pickup and drop off, personalized code words for pickups, monitored driver behavior and a live customer service team committed to getting kids to their destination safely and on time. All CareDrivers must pass a highly selective 15-point certification process that includes fingerprinting, extensive background checks, vehicle safety inspections by a licensed mechanic, ongoing DMV checks, reference checks, driver training, an in-person meeting and membership on the TrustLine registry. HopSkipDrive is currently available in Los Angeles, Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area and has raised more than $14 million from FirstMark Capital, Upfront Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, BBG Ventures and 1776. To learn more, visit http://www.hopskipdrive.com.

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Rebecca Weiser
Moxie Communications Group
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