Parents in South Africa now have access to a new mobile application that aims to deliver a safe and affordable transport solution for their children to and from school and extra mural activities.

Modeled on popular ride-request apps, Schoolride has been developed by a South African parent for South African parents who want a safe, convenient and affordable way to transport their children when they can’t.

Schoolride uses a network of registered drivers who must be parents of children in participating schools within their community. While providing safe, per-request rides for children needing to get to school and back, or to and from extra mural activities, registered Schoolride parent-drivers can also earn money for the trips they make.

Schoolride has successfully been piloted at a number of schools in Pretoria and Benoni Gauteng and is now ready for roll-out to other areas.

“We are heartened by the response to the pilot project in Pretoria and Benoni,” say Gerhard Viljoen and Ian Van Niekerk, founders of Schoolride. “The simple process of requesting a ride using a mobile device and the fact that drivers are parents of children registered in a school in your community puts parents at ease that their children will be safely collected and carried to where they need to be.”

The Schoolride app is available in the App Store and on Google Play for download on to the parent/guardian and child’s smartphone. As with other similar ride-request apps, the parent or scholar then requests a ride using the app.

When booking a ride, the parent/guardian or scholar will specify their school, the pick-up and drop off addresses, as well as the time. An available parent-driver will accept the request and the requesting passenger will receive notification of the driver’s name, vehicle registration and estimated time for the pick-up.

The scholar’s parent/guardian will receive notification when the child has been collected and another alert when the child has been safely dropped off at their destination.

“To be a Schoolride driver, you have to have a child attending a participating school in your community,” explains Van Niekerk. “You can then register as a parent-driver and provide rides for children from those schools. A percentage of the fares for the rides you give is extra income.”

Schoolride relies on schools’ endorsements to market the app to parents to become parent-drivers and for other parents and their children in the schools to make use of the service.