Car service for children coming to Iowa City

Korbyn Hill, right, reacts as Nika DelPreore gets into her performance of the "Tooty Talk" song, during an end of the year program for students in Leigh Ann Tillo's Little Nike Preschool classTuesday May 23, 2017 in Burlington. The students performed a variety of songs for family members before enjoying a snack. John Lovretta/The Hawk Eye

One Iowa City mom wants to make sure other parents don’t have to worry about how their children get to and from school.

And she wants to make sure it’s affordable.

After driving for Uber Anamika Chandel decided to start, BeesKneesDrive, a similar car service only for children going to and from school. Parents she spoke with who she picked up driving for Uber would tell her how nice it would be to have something that could pick up and drop off their kids in a similar fashion.

BeesKneesDrive

After some research Chandel found similar businesses with this idea around the country, just not in Iowa. And now she plans on providing child-ride services to parents in the Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty area.

“We can solve this problem about how parents are always stressed about taking their parents to camps or school while dealing with work or being sick,” Chandel explained. “And not everyone can afford a babysitter all the time. With this, you can pre-book or do it on-demand.”

Safety first

But because it involves children, Chandel said her first priority is safety. And as a parent of an eight-year-old boy, safety must a priority.

She is hopeful cameras will be installed so parents can watch their kids and the driver wouldn’t be allowed to leave until the child is in safe hands.

“It’ll be a lot like Uber but with added security,” Chandel said. “More safe and more secure, so parents can trust us. I wouldn’t just let my child in a car with some person.”

She said not everybody can be a driver. A criminal history will immediately disqualify a potential driver along with being a sex offender.

“And absolutely you must have some child care experience,” Chandel explained. “Because you have to be able to tolerate kids. And we have a zero tolerance policy with making contact with the phone or electronic device, smoking, drugs or alcohol.”

And the vehicle itself shouldn’t be more than ten years old with insurance.

Coming soon

An app will be released this fall but right now a handful of families will particapte in a beta version through the website.

“This will help us determine how we develop the business and the app,” Chandel said. “Then in the fall we go full time with the app to provide child ride services.”