Why does Uber still let kids take rides?

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Anonymous Visitor
Why does Uber still let kids take rides?

The Uber Terms of Service says that kids (riders under the age of 18) are not allowed to use the Uber app and are not permitted to take an Uber ride without an adult present. In many states it's even against the law.

Quote from Uber's Terms of Service:
You must be at least 18 years of age, or the age of legal majority in your jurisdiction (if different than 18), to obtain an Account...
The Service is not available for use by persons under the age of 18. You may not authorize third parties to use your Account, and you may not allow persons under the age of 18 to receive transportation

And yet Uber appears to have a huge business of transporting underaged kids to and from school every day. So much so, that it appears on the surface that Uber actually encourages under-aged riders through their lack of action in preventing kids from using the Uber ride share service.
Uber is a huge "Technology Company" on the cutting edge of technology and Ai, doing things like creating self-driving cars, and yet, Uber seems to not be able (or not willing) to do just a few simple things that could reduce the use of their platform by minors.

These are just a few of the things that an uneducated Uber driver like me can think of that Uber could be doing to help stop kids from using the service:

* Specifically asking the rider if they are 18 years of age or older at signup instead of just flashing a 10-page 'terms of service' with a "I read and understand" checkbox at the bottom.

* Age verification at signup via a 3rd party service

* Driver education - how many messages do you as a driver see in the Driver app for stupid stuff? Yet, never has Uber used the driver app to remind drivers that children are not allowed to ride in an Uber alone. - Most/Many drivers don't even know taking kids is not allowed!

* Rider education - Same in the Uber passenger app - lots of pop up messages, but never has Uber sent a friendly reminder in the app that "you must be over the age of 18 to use Uber"

* Pay drivers when canceling because the rider is under aged - In many/most markets, if a driver comes to a pickup to find the rider is a child, there is NO CANCELLATION OPTION BECAUSE THE RIDER IS A MINOR - the driver has to choose another unrelated reason, and DOES NOT GET PAID like a "No show" - This actually encourages drivers to take the rider so they get paid. Currently Uber also makes it virtually impossible to contact Support and ask/demand a cancellation fee for the ride.

* Tracking the issue of under-aged riders - In these markets where we don't even have an "unaccompanied minor" cancellation reason, Uber can't track the number of underage minors using the service. If Uber can't measure it, they can't fix it. To Uber, these under aged riders do not even exist.

* Charge riders - If a rider is a no-show after 5 minutes the rider pays a $5 fee and the driver gets paid for their time. This encourages riders to show up when requesting a ride. However, an unaccompanied minor can continue to request other Uber drivers indefinitely until they find one that will take them.

* Destination examination - When the rider enters the address of a High School, the app could ask the rider to confirm they are over the age of 18, remind the rider of the rules, and notify them of a charge if the driver cancels because they are under aged.

* Terminate and blacklist underage riders - When kids are reported by Uber drivers, Uber could easily terminate the accounts AND blacklist them based on name/address/credit card. They would not be able to prevent 100% of riders from creating new accounts, but now it seems they do nothing.

These are just a few things that Uber could be doing to stop or even reduce the use of their platform by children (if I missed any, please let me know). If Uber can build a fully autonomous car, why can't they stop kids from using the Uber service? Is it because Uber makes too much money from them, and has no interest in stopping them?

It seems that it is only a matter of time before some sleazy driver does something terrible to an young kid and someone in the press or a good lawyer finds out how Uber does very little about preventing kids from getting into Uber cars with complete strangers. It seems that taking just a few steps like listed above would be far cheaper than all the lawyer fees, civil lawsuit payouts and bad PR not to mention saving a potential victim.


Re: Why does Uber still let kids take rides?

It seems that technologically all of those things suggested would be pretty easy to implement..

I only take Uber every once in a while and didnt know/realize that kids ever used it. I guess for lazy parents, it's great - if you don't care about the kid driving off in a car with a complete stranger.. I remember when I was a kid my parents taught me to AVOID strangers in cars.. Not walk right up and drive away with them LOLz!

Uber Driver
Re: Why does Uber still let kids take rides?

I'm a driver for Uber and I think it is disgusting how Uber does NOTHING to stop kids! Uber has no interest in kicking kids off the system because the kids make so much money for the company and if something bad happens to a child Uber can just say "hey, that driver is an independent contractor!"

Stan The Man
Re: Why does Uber still let kids take rides?

Uber is a ponzi-house-of-cards. Nobody at Uber cares about any of the rules until there is a lawsuit.. They spend all of their time fooling new investors into dumping more money into the company, meanwhile Uber has NEVER turned a profit and continues to lose hundreds of millions, some years Billions of dollars - once the investors realize they've been being played like fools and the money dries up, Uber will go down like a flaming bag of dung..

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