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Shuddle, the 'Uber for kids' ride service facing legal trouble

By Dirk Libbey
Jul 9, 2015
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  1. [parsehtml]<p><img src="http://www.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2015/07/2015-07-09-image-5.jpg" /></p> <p>With the speed at which new businesses are popping up these days it can be difficult for the law to catch up. Regulations that were written years or decades before some new endeavors were even possible can lead to difficulties in enforcing the law, or even knowing which laws to enforce. That&#39;s what&#39;s going on in California in regards to Shuddle, an on-demand ride service dedicated to getting kids around town.</p> <p>The California Public Utilities Commission issued a cease and desist order to San Francisco Bay Area-based Shuddle back in November. The problem was that the company was not running background checks on their drivers through TrustLine, a state agency dedicated to people working in the child care field. Eight months later, the CPUC says they are still in non-compliance, but the service is still running.</p> <p>Shuddle CEO <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/07/08/shuddle-california-public-utilities-commission-debate-definition-of-uber-for-kids-services/29861245/">Nick Allen says</a> that they began to run their drivers through TrustLine last week, though he also says that the company&#39;s existing background check system is better, and faster, than TrustLine. According to Allen, TrustLine only searches county databases within California, while the system that Shuddle uses searches any place an applicant has lived in the last seven years.</p> <p>While everybody appears to be in agreement that background checks are very necessary for a service like Shuddle, what makes it more than disconcerting is that the service remained in operation after being out of compliance for so long. Shuddle has only been in existence since the fall and it&#39;s likely that the state has simply never had to deal with a business like it before. As the law tries to understand how new businesses fit into existing regulations, it will likely result in businesses needing to make major changes long after they&#39;ve begun serving their customers as well as the law needing to adapt quickly to the changing business landscape.</p><p><a rel='alternate' href='http://www.techspot.com/news/61303-shuddle-uber-kids-ride-service-facing-legal-trouble.html' target='_blank'>Permalink to story.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href='http://www.techspot.com/news/61303-shuddle-uber-kids-ride-service-facing-legal-trouble.html'>http://www.techspot.com/news/61303-shuddle-uber-kids-ride-service-facing-legal-trouble.html</a></p>[/parsehtml]
     
  2. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 658   +174

    At the same time what annoys me is that roads are getting more and more congested with cars that have 1 or maybe 2 people in them.
    Yet whenever anyone tries anything to do with ride sharing the first thing that happens is they get outlawed on some technicalities.

    When I was young we'd get rides with friends parents all the time, now its illegal to do that?!
    Just wrap everything and everyone in bubble wrap and get it over with.
     
    Geforcepat and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. Win7Dev

    Win7Dev TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +174

    I think driving standards in general need to be made tougher because there are some really scary drivers out there that really don't deserve to have a license that says they can safely operate a motor vehicle.

    As for the article, who in their right mind puts their kids in a car with a stranger they are just meeting for the first time?
     
  4. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    The difference is that the drivers for these ride sharing services are paid and that makes it the government's business for various reasons. In this case, it's public safety, but usually it's because companies that find an economic niche with little to no regulation will exploit the hell out of it and anyone they hire. Uber and Lyft pitch ride sharing as a way to make money with lots of *freedom*, but it's really just a way to run a business with independent contractors and thus avoid having to provide the benefits that actual employees are supposed to get.
     
  5. Sniped_Ash is exactly right about this. What lipe123 was referring to was carpooling which from my experiences in most places, is encouraged. What Lyft, Uber, and Shuddle is doing is a business and the government has their rights to get involved. These companies do benefit a lot from these types of things and from what I guess, they don't need to even worry about Worker Comp, a form of insurance and medical benefits to employees that typical business are usually required to do.

    Basically carpooling is A-ok. This on the other hand is a business and exploiting the system which is much more in the gray area.
     

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