HopSkipDrive commits $2M to invest in communities it serves
Written by Aylin Cook
HopSkipDrive is pleased to announce the Opportunity for All Community Fund, a $2M investment that offers a solution to the school bus driver shortage plaguing our nation while also putting money back into classrooms. With this Fund, HopSkipDrive aims to engage the communities in our existing markets and help get more students to school safely and reliably.
With the Opportunity for All Community Fund, HopSkipDrive will provide ride credits to existing education partners based on CareDrivers referred to HopSkipDrive by that school or district. The Fund will be initiated in select major markets where HopSkipDrive currently operates, including CA, CO, WI and WA.
The benefits of the Opportunity for All Community Fund are threefold: solving for severe bus driver shortages, giving money back to schools by reducing transportation costs, and engaging communities by providing a flexible income opportunity for those who are interested in becoming a HopSkipDrive CareDriver.
“We’re excited to solve the bus driver shortage in a way that engages school communities, provides flexible earnings opportunities and invests dollars back into the schools and communities we serve,” says HopSkipDrive Co-founder and CEO, Joanna McFarland. “This unique program alleviates some of the many issues plaguing both communities and schools.”
HopSkipDrive’s Opportunity for All Community Fund helps solve bus driver shortages
The Opportunity for All Community Fund helps solve the severe school bus driver shortages in a creative way that engages local communities and saves money for schools, while also giving schools flexible solutions to student transportation challenges.
Eighty percent of school districts report that bus driver shortages have constrained their transportation operations. In addition, trends towards open enrollment mean that more and more students — including those who have special needs, and those who are in foster care or experiencing homelessness — have unique situations that require creative solutions when it comes to transportation.
HopSkipDrive provides school districts much-needed flexibility by introducing a network of CareDrivers, who drive their own personal vehicles, to their student transportation options. This is a more efficient way of serving students who may not fit into a regular bus route, or who may be on buses that are less than half-full. HopSkipDrive’s easy-to-use platform also gives schools and families full visibility and transparency with unparalleled safety.
Engaging residents with a flexible income opportunity
HopSkipDrive’s Opportunity for All Community Fund engages residents by providing a flexible income opportunity as a HopSkipDrive CareDriver — enabling them to work with, and help, children in their community while setting their own schedule and enjoying competitive earnings. Being a CareDriver can be a rewarding pathway for parents, retired school employees and other qualified members of the community — especially the millions of women who were pushed out of, or had to leave, the workforce due to COVID-19.
With a safety-first focus, HopSkipDrive’s proprietary technology platform connects school districts and families with a rigorously vetted community of CareDrivers (also referred to as “caregivers on wheels”). One of the requirements for becoming a CareDriver is five years of caregiving experience, which includes working as a teacher, a nanny, a nurse, a counselor, a babysitter or being a parent or caregiver for a family member. CareDrivers must also undergo a 15-point certification process — including a background check and fingerprinting — before gaining access to the HopSkipDrive platform.
New student transportation and community solutions
The problems the school transportation industry is facing are evolving, and that means the models to solve them need to evolve, too. The Opportunity for All Community Fund is just one more way HopSkipDrive is reinventing student transportation, while also working to invest in communities.