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A HopSkipDrive ride: From booking to dropoff

We know first-time users of HopSkipDrive are curious about how the service works, and how they can start using it to get kids where they need to go. Since parents and student transportation staff are busy, we put together the highlights here so you can get familiar with the service. 

HopSkipDrive connects you with CareDrivers

HopSkipDrive was designed to arrange rides for kids, so every CareDriver on the platform has at least five years of caregiving experience. CareDrivers have undergone the same 15-point certification process and we meet every CareDriver in person, take their fingerprints, and provide training. 

“I often explain the level of background checks supersedes that of any other driving platform and covered more than the one I took when I was a preschool teacher,” said Mishelle Sharp, a CareDriver in Los Angeles.

“I explain the process of the password and being able to follow, contact, and check in with HSD during their child’s ride.  I further explain that it doesn’t seem to cost much money compared to other platforms but they can be assured that the drivers are safe.”

Many CareDrivers, like Mishelle, have backgrounds in education or are parents themselves.

So let’s get into the HopSkipDrive ride experience — both from the perspective of Ride Organizers an Riders — here!

1. Book a HopSkipDrive Ride

Planning ahead is the best way to use HopSkipDrive. Rides are booked in advance so CareDrivers have time to claim them.  All rides need to be booked eight hours in advance, or by 7 p.m. the night before. However, you can also book rides further in advance if you know you need them. 

To book, you first need to create an account by downloading the app from your device’s app store, or online at www.hopskipdrive.com. Once you create an account, you can log in on the app or the web to create your ride. 

You will select “schedule a ride” and then input the date and time of your pickup, and select riders. Be sure to add pickup and dropoff notes so the driver knows how to complete the ride. If you are carpooling with another family you know, choose the carpool option to invite them. HopSkipDrive does not find carpools for you, but you can schedule shared trips and split the cost with a friend ahead of time. 

When you book rides, they’re available in the marketplace for CareDrivers to claim at least one week in advance. For repeating ride series, claiming can happen up to six weeks ahead of time. Repeating rides can also help with consistency, as drivers may claim multiple rides in the same series. To book rides to repeat, choose the option at the end of the booking process. 

2. Your Ride is Claimed by a CareDriver

When your ride is claimed by a CareDriver, you’ll get a text notification and an email with their information. This will include a photo of the driver and their vehicle, vehicle information, and a short bio so you can learn a little bit about your CareDriver.

If you need a reminder of who is picking up, you can also check the app to view this information. 

When a CareDriver claims your ride, you will receive a text message and an email alert with their photo, vehicle information, and a short bio.

When a CareDriver claims your ride, you will receive a text message and an email alert with their photo, vehicle information, and a short bio.

3. Before the Ride

Ride Organizers

On the day of the ride, you’ll get a text when the driver is on their way. At that point, you’ll also be able to start tracking the ride from your app. To do so, open your app and view your list of rides. If a ride is in progress, it will say NOW next to it. You can click on the ride to see the CareDriver traveling to the pickup location on the map.

Our Safe Ride Support system is also monitoring your ride in real time to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you have trouble tracking or questions, you can contact us for an update.


If a Rider’s cell phone is listed in the app, they will receive a text message when their driver arrives, which includes their vehicle info.  If a Rider has trouble connecting with their CareDriver, they can call or text them as well. Riders should be waiting in the pickup area designated in the ride notes. 

Phone numbers are masked within the app, so Riders, Rider organizers and CareDrivers will never see each other’s contact information. 

4. During the Ride

Ride Organizers

You will receive text messages when the CareDriver arrives at pickup and when they meet up with your riders. 

If at any point during the ride you need to contact your CareDriver, you can do so via the app by clicking “contact CareDriver”. If you have trouble getting in touch (some drivers may not be able to answer while driving) you can contact our Safe Ride Support team, who will help connect you. They can also help relay any last-minute changes or adjustments to your ride to the CareDriver.

When the CareDriver arrives at pickup, you’ll receive a text message notification. If your child has a cell phone and their number is associated with their profile, they’ll get a notification as well.

Many CareDrivers will arrive early, but this does not mean the ride needs to begin early. Billing does not start until the scheduled pickup time, so there is no additional charge if the CareDriver is early and needs to wait for dismissal. Kids should not feel rushed if their driver is there ahead of time.

Drivers will wait at pickup. If your rider does not turn up, our Safe Ride Support team and the driver will make every effort to get in touch with the ride organizer, school officials, the driver, and other emergency contacts to help them connect with the CareDriver. 

Click the “contact CareDriver” button to be directly connected to the CareDriver while a ride is in progress.

Click the “contact CareDriver” button to be directly connected to the CareDriver while a ride is in progress.


When the CareDriver picks up a Rider, they will say the code word to them to confirm they’re the right person, and many will also confirm the rider’s birthday. They will make sure the Rider is buckled into a seatbelt or booster seat before departing, and at that point the CareDriver will mark that they have departed in the app. This prompts a text to the Ride Organizer that they have left the pickup area. 

The CareDriver will then take the route provided by Google Maps to the final destination (unless the ride notes specify an alternate route). The driver will ensure the Rider is safely inside their destination or has met up with a trusted adult at the location before leaving. 

5. After the ride

When the ride is complete, the Ride Organizer will receive a text message letting you know the Rider has arrived at their destination.

A popup will then appear and give you an option to rate your CareDriver. You can select a rating and leave a comment about your ride. If you prefer not to be matched again, you can leave a rating and choose to block them from future trips.

Rate your CareDriver after the ride! You can also leave written feedback, which is viewed by our Support team.

Rate your CareDriver after the ride! You can also leave written feedback, which is viewed by our Support team.

You’ll receive an emailed receipt a few hours after the ride with the final cost, and your card will be billed at that time.  


If a Rider has forgotten any of their belongings in the CareDriver’s vehicle, they should contact our support team. The Support team will help connect with the driver so they can work to locate the item and coordinate its return.

6. Cancelling a Booked HopSkipDrive Ride

Ride Organizers

Plans change! We totally understand that, and we try to make the cancellation process as easy as possible. If you booked the ride, you can cancel it yourself in the app or online

If the ride is cancelled with more than eight hours until the scheduled pickup time, there is no fee associated. If you cancel with less than eight hours until the scheduled pickup time, you will be charged 50 percent of the estimated fare. If you cancel with less than one hour until the scheduled pickup time, you will be charged 100 percent of the estimated fare. In both cases, the fee goes to the driver as they have blocked off their time for the ride. 


Riders cannot cancel rides. If a rider does not show up for a pickup and HopSkipDrive is unable to reach them, the Ride Organizer, or other contacts in the account, the ride will be cancelled after 20 minutes. If a ride needs to be cancelled, an adult on the account must either cancel it via the app or contact HopSkipDrive to cancel. 

We hope this helps answer all your questions, but if you need more information, check out our FAQs or contact us at support@hopskipdrive.com

Interested in learning more about HopSkipDrive’s non-routine student transportation solution?

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