‘Uber for Kids’ Service Shuddle Runs into CA Legal Issues

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While a transportation service specifically for kids by certified adults sounds ingenious, the company behind the idea is running into a few legal issues.

Shuddle, a Bay Area start up company, aims to provide transportation for children – post-booster seat age—while ensuring safety with their network of employees that have child care experience and clean backgrounds.

The California Public Utilities Commission, however, is questioning whether the service a limo operator or a nanny service. Given that the company is considered more of a limo service by the CPUC, they note that there are regulations that must be met for a company serving unaccompanied minors.

For one, the CPUC issued a cease and desist letter to Shuddle back in November, noting that the company had not yet registered with Trustline, a state agency that uses fingerprints to run background checks on those working in the child care field.

Tuesday, Shuddle CEO Nick Allen and Shuddle’s attorney Tara Kaushik told USA TODAY that they began using Trustline last week, but added that “we believe our screening process is comprehensive, safer and faster.”

Allen arguess that Shuddle’s screening currently “exceeds current requirements, including TrustLine, which is outdated, approves applicants to the registry prior to background check completion, and is limited to the state of California.”

Before hiring drivers, the company goes through it own hiring process which includes performing its own background check by running licenses and Social Security numbers through national databases. They also conduct interviews and most choose applicants with childcare backgrounds.

Shuddle has raised $12 million since launching last fall, and charges a $9 a month membership fee. With membership,  parents are able  to book and monitor rides for pre-teens and teens.

Read the full story at USA Today.

(Photo: Martin E. Klimek, Special for USA TODAY)