Ride-sharing service for kids puts cops behind the wheel
DALLAS, Texas - As the popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to rise, a new company is putting off-duty cops and former cops behind the wheel.
The ride-sharing service is called Bubbl and wants to ride home one big point: safety for children.
Ronnie Harper was with the Dallas Police Department for 33 years. Now, he's working with Bubbl.
Bubbl is a 2016 version of bubble cars for transportation that were popular in 1956. They were built small for personal transportation.
The 2016-version of the cars come with a blue bubble on top and are operated by off-duty and retired officers in the city of Dallas. The pre-scheduled rides for children 8 and up are set up through their app or website.
"We believe that our officers are a safe option for kids to be where they need to be when they can't be with their parents," said Bubble Chief Operating Officer Paul Adams.
When the officer driver starts his shift, he or she is assigned a car with an iPhone.
"And more importantly, what makes the family feel good about putting their student or child in our car is that all of our cars are equipped with a camera," explained Adams.
The cameras record continuously with full video coverage inside and outside the Bubbl. A dispatcher monitors the driver in real-time, and parents can put specific information through the website about their child
A text message is also sent to the parents to alert them when the child has been picked up.
"This has really helped me be able to pre-plan and feel good about who I'm allowing my son to get in the car with," said Carrie Jewel, an avid Bubbl user.
Jewel explained the rides usually cost her about $15 and has the choice to add additional kids to a ride for $5 more.
"I feel safe knowing he's getting into the car with someone I can trust," she explained.
The cars are owned by the company and insured.
Currently, the service employs 65 drivers that are screened and drug tested.
The Bubbl is only servicing the Park Cities areas but is expecting to expand.