HopSkipDrive announces three new industry-leading safety features

HopSkipDrive today announced three new industry-leading safety features to enhance rapid support, enable access to in-ride recording, and further communicate with parents and caregivers, advancing HopSkipDrive’s unparalleled school transportation safety and transparency track record. These newest features build on HopSkipDrive’s proprietary safety technology and approach, including the company’s most recent announcement of the industry’s first, and only, real-time, proactive safety solution, Proactive Ride Intervention, which leverages the company’s innovative Safe Ride Support  team and technology.

“The changing transportation and mobility needs of students — and anyone needing extra care — require nothing less than what HopSkipDrive is now, and will continue to be: the safest and most trustworthy platform in the industry,” said Joanna McFarland, Co-Founder and CEO of HopSkipDrive. “We will never stop pushing for safety, rooted in the principle I kept in mind when founding this company: What would it take to put my own child in a HopSkipDrive ride?”

These new HopSkipDrive features continue to demonstrate the company’s commitment to safety for riders, CareDrivers, and clients, and reflect the growing adoption of supplemental transportation options by school districts, nonprofits, government agencies, or anyone focused on delivering care-centered support.

New immediate assistance for riders, CareDrivers, and clients

Since HopSkipDrive’s earliest days, the company has offered customer support and assistance for users during rides. Now, HopSkipDrive will make dedicated escalated support available for riders and clients nationwide, enabling them to immediately reach HopSkipDrive’s dedicated Safe Ride Support team in the event of an urgent concern during a ride. HopSkipDrive’s team will then be able to escalate any concerns as needed, including contacting law enforcement if necessary. These lines are now piloting in a selection of markets, and will be available in all markets for clients and Riders this fall. 

To continue prioritizing safety for the CareDriver community, HopSkipDrive will also introduce an emergency assistance button into the CareDriver mobile app, enabling CareDrivers to get help immediately, if needed. This feature is in development and will be available to CareDrivers nationwide this year. 

Expanded caregiver notifications

HopSkipDrive will expand its system of communications with parents and caregivers through a new feature designed to further transparency and access to support, an important development in continually enhancing real-time visibility for parents and caregivers.  

“HopSkipDrive is changing the status quo as more and more small vehicles are relied upon for transporting anyone needing extra care,” said McFarland. “There should no longer be a lack of information or updates about a student’s experience on a ride to and from school — or wherever they need to go.” 

This new feature will leverage the company’s proprietary Safe Ride Support technology, which can automatically detect events during a ride, such as a vehicle stop, route deviation, or major collision. In certain scenarios, such as when a rider is en route and a vehicle is stopped — due most frequently to traffic or pickup line congestion — HopSkipDrive’s Safe Ride Support team will notify parents or caregivers and update them via SMS message after the ride is completed. This communication will serve as a check-in to ensure the ride was smooth and provide a quick contact to HopSkipDrive Support if needed. 

In-ride recording

HopSkipDrive understands the importance of how visibility and data can bolster protections for riders and CareDrivers. Beginning this upcoming school year, HopSkipDrive will implement in-ride recording in a selection of markets, with plans to make this technology available to clients across the country. 

These latest advancements build on the following hallmarks of HopSkipDrive’s industry-leading approach to trust and safety:

Extensive driver vetting and ongoing evaluation

HopSkipDrive CareDrivers are experienced caregivers with a minimum of five years of caregiving experience who undergo thorough vetting to ensure riders are safe in their back seats, passing a 15-point certification process and an individual evaluation before they can give their first ride. 

This includes fingerprint-based criminal record/background and driving record checks,, child abuse and neglect screening (CANS), and meeting vehicle requirements (including a valid license, registration, insurance, and inspection). 

Once certified, HopSkipDrive CareDrivers are also subject to continuous monitoring, such as criminal and motor vehicle report reviews. For example, once HopSkipDrive launches the Industry Sharing Safety Program (ISSP), its team will evaluate data and information about driver behavior on other Transportation Network Company (TNC) platforms, and if needed will proactively remove any CareDriver from the HopSkipDrive platform if that individual has been deactivated by major nationwide rideshare platforms based on behavior consistent with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence Taxonomy, as well as physical assault fatalities.

Safety measures before and during the ride

HopSkipDrive is now leveraging its mobile telematics technology and Safe Ride Technology — a hallmark of every HopSkipDrive ride experience — to potentially intervene in a ride before it even begins. Proactive Ride Intervention, an industry-leading and first-of-its-kind safety feature detects what may be unsafe driving — including excessive speeding, hard braking, rapid acceleration, tight turns, or phone usage — while a CareDriver is on the way to pick up a rider. In this event, the Safe Ride Support team receives an immediate alert and takes proactive action. This may include stopping the ride before a rider gets in the vehicle, offering the industry’s first, and only, real-time, proactive safety solution.

In addition, HopSkipDrive also  recently bolstered its in-ride safety tools, with updates that included precise location pins to minimize confusion in the car line or pickup process as well as providing approved rider information and seating accommodation details only when a CareDriver could be in need of them.

Rigorous reporting and industry-first visibility

In the 2023 Safety Report, HopSkipDrive shared that of the more than 1.2 million safe rides driven by CareDrivers across more than 25 million miles, 99.653% of the rides ended without a safety incident of any kind

The fifth annual edition of this report marked another year where HopSkipDrive stands alone as the only organization in the student transportation space to provide a comprehensive and transparent analysis of ride data and rare safety incidents. 


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