There is probably no phrase that parents can relate to more than, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Any full-time working parent will tell you that navigating their schedule, and their children’s schedules, is not always easy. Children need reliable rides to and from school, or to clubs, or to games, or to lessons; the list goes on — all while the parent is stuck at the office.
Stacy Shannon, a then-single mother of three, started working a nine to five job when she moved to Cary, N.C., four years ago. As a business owner before, Shannon had been able to set her schedule — however, now as an employee, she found that she couldn’t find a reliable carpool option for her son to get to practice.
She told Raleigh’s News & Observer, “I thought, ‘Why isn’t there Uber but for kids?’ Like if Uber and Care.com had a baby.”
She realized that she didn’t need a babysitter, her children just needed a driver — and Shannon was sure that other parents shared her plight.
The mother quit her job in May 2016 and cashed out her 401(k) to make ends meet. No one knew of her business plan, except for her children.
Then, GoKart was born.
But it certainly wasn’t easy, especially with skeptical parents. Of course, no one wants their children to get in a car with a total stranger — but Shannon was on top of that as well. Along with standard background checks, all 40 of her drivers have at least five years of childcare experience; they’re also all parents or grandparents themselves, so they’re used to a car full of children.
Her app, which will launch this month, will roll out new features, including an ability to see the ride live, much like Uber, as well as notifications that the driver is on the way or has arrived, and when the child has been dropped off.
Currently, GoKart only operates in some regions of North Carolina, but Shannon is hoping to expand, starting in smaller cities in the Southeast, like Charleston and Tallahassee.
GoKart may even help you feel more like a parent and less like a chauffeur.
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