ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Ride-sharing companies have in many ways revolutionized the way we travel.
Some parents use the services to transport their children to and from school, appointments, or to after-school activities. While some drivers will allow this practice, driving an unaccompanied minor is against the policies of both Uber and Lyft.
For that reason, some drivers are turning away these riders. Full-time drivers like Ali Merre say the risk is just not worth the ride. As an independent contractor, the employment status for anyone who drives for Uber or Lyft, Merre worries about liability and potential for litigation.
If anything were to happen, an unhappy customer could personally sue Merre. The driver says she also worries about her passengers. She says you don't know exactly who is driving the car, and that is a risk she says parents should not be taking.
Uber's policy says:
"A rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older on any ride.
As a driver-partner, you should decline the ride request if you believe the person requesting the ride is under 18. When picking up riders, if you feel they are underage, you may request they provide a driver's license or ID card for confirmation. If a rider is underage, please do not start the trip or allow them to ride."
"Unaccompanied minors are prohibited from traveling with most carriers, including TNCs. A passenger must be 18 to sign up for a Lyft account, but if a driver believes a passenger might be underage, the driver may ask the passenger to confirm their age.
The driver may also let a passenger know that the driver will have to cancel the trip if the passenger is indeed under 18. In addition, drivers can report requests to transport unaccompanied minors by tapping 'Contact Support' below."