How HopSkipDrive goes above and beyond regulatory standards
Written by Aylin Cook
HopSkipDrive operates as a Transportation Network Company (TNC), which is regulated by various state agencies holding us to strict TNC regulations. As a platform designed for vulnerable populations — children and older adults — we know we can’t rest on compliance to these standards. To us, it’s about more than checking regulatory boxes, it’s about making safety the #1 priority.
In some cases, we are also subject to state Department of Education regulations. Our safety standards meet them — and often exceed them — when applicable.
In this article, we’ll share a general summary of state agency TNC regulations, how we consistently exceed them through our safety-focused platform features and the advocacy work we’ve done to add Child Abuse and Neglect checks to youth transportation regulations.
We’ll also share the CareDriver certification process, the criteria to join the HopSkipDrive platform, as well as the continued criteria for CareDrivers to remain on the platform.
Stringent regulation by State Agencies
While the Transportation Network Company regulating body varies from state to state, the following criteria is generally applicable to most states. This criteria often overlaps with Department of Education requirements.
In this summary, we’ll share general state requirements and show 1. How rigorous they are 2. How we meet all of them 3. Which ones we exceed.
Our safety features far exceed these TNC requirements.
- Minimum insurance requirements in every state in which we operate.
- The depth of our background checks. We also receive alerts which notify us if anything changes in a driver’s record.
- Child abuse and neglect checks.*
- Motor vehicle search: We receive monthly notifications of any new driver infractions in most markets.
- Criminal and driving history regulations: We also look at the state Department of Education standards for individuals who work with children.
- Minimum age for driving on a TNC: For safety, CareDrivers must be at least 23 years of age, and have five years of caregiving experience, in order to qualify to access the platform.
- HopSkipDrive utilizes multi-factor authentication at pickup. In addition, Ride Organizers and all users on a child’s account can track the ride in real-time.
General TNC requirements, and how HopSkipDrive stacks up
Here, a more detailed comparison of our TNC requirements
As part of our California-specific CareDriver certification process, all California CareDrivers must be cleared through TrustLine before they can join the platform.
All caregivers listed with TrustLine have been cleared through a fingerprint check of records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI, as well as a search of the California Department of Social Services records for reports of child abuse and neglect. This means they have no disqualifying criminal convictions or substantiated child abuse reports in California or in the FBI database.
In addition to adopting this as our own criteria for accessing the platform, we worked with the California Public Utilities Commission to adopt using TrustLine as the standard for any rideshare company working with youth. We are implementing child abuse and neglect (“CANs”) checks into the CareDriver certification process in every market in which we operate, and will continue to advocate for child abuse and neglect checks.
The 15-point CareDriver Certification Process
Our 15-point CareDriver certification process was developed to ensure trusted individuals with caregiving experience could access the platform. The result is that CareDrivers are more than drivers, they’re caregivers on wheels.
In order to access our platform, potential CareDrivers must meet the following criteria.
- Have five plus years of caregiving experience, at least three of it child-specific. Some industry peers ask for ‘childcare experience’ without specifying a period of time, while some don’t require caregiving experience at all.
- Pass a criminal background check, searching county, state and national records,as well as the sex offender database and global watchlist.
- Pass a fingerprint-based background check.
- Pass a Child Abuse and Neglect Scan: Receive state-level clearance from the Department of Human Services (or relevant state agency) database.*
- Valid driver’s license: Submit proof of valid driver’s license.
- Minimum of three years driving experience.
- Good driving record. For example, their DMV record must show no recent hits of DUI, reckless driving, driving without a license, or multiple moving violations. CareDrivers must maintain that good record; we are alerted of changes to driving records on an ongoing basis.
- Must be age 23 or older.
- Own or lease a vehicle no more than 10 years old seating four to seven passengers.
- Submit proof of vehicle registration
- Submit proof of insurance consistent with state law. Again, while we ask for personal auto insurance coverage, we also provide commercial insurance on our end; this dramatically exceeds minimum requirements in each market in which we operate.
- Pass a vehicle inspection by a certified mechanic. This inspection is repeated annually to demonstrate that cars remain in good working order.
- Complete a live Orientation with a member of the HopSkipDrive Team.
- Adopt the HopSkipDrive Community Guidelines
- Adopt Zero-Tolerance Policies for impaired driving, non-discrimination, no-touching, and no cell-phone usage.
*Implemented for prospective drivers in 2021. In some markets, this may be completed after activation on the platform for new and existing CareDrivers.
Criteria for staying on the platform
While the certification process is required for CareDrivers to join the platform, CareDrivers also must keep their documents up to date, including drivers license, insurance, vehicle registration and local business licenses. We receive alerts of any change to motor vehicle or criminal histories on an ongoing basis.
In addition, proprietary third-party technology detects unsafe driving behaviors such as hard braking, hard acceleration and device use. CareDrivers receive a weekly summary of their driving behavior along with industry resources on safe driving patterns in order to encourage iterative improvement.
HopSkipDrive believes compliance is not enough; we don’t believe in just checking the box. We’re fully transparent about how we meet — and often exceed — state TNC requirements. We’re also transparent about the criteria for CareDrivers to access our platform, and what it takes to stay on, as well as our data about safety.
HopSkipDrive is setting the bar above and beyond for safe youth transportation. Read more about our safety philosophy, and how we’re Proactive, Innovative and Relentless.