NEW YORK — Some new features announced by ride-sharing company Uber could be a great thing for parents of teen riders now, including in Bloomington, Indiana. A series of changes and upgrades were announced during the company’s third annual “GO-GET” conference in New York City.
One of the biggest announcements is the new account for teenagers that allows minors to take rides without a parent or guardian present. Prior to this, unaccompanied minors were not allowed to request Uber rides. The company required users to be at least 18 to sign up for an account since its founding over a decade ago.
Now teens age 13 to 17 can have their own account and take their own rides, as long as it’s connected to a guardian’s account.
“We know that it takes a village to keep teens going and growing. From sports practices and mall trips to first job interviews and more, teens are always on the move but getting them there isn’t always easy,” Uber said in a press release Wednesday.
An important note: The new teen feature will only allow highly-rated drivers to participate and will include other safety features like RideCheck, Verify My Ride, an audio recording system and live trip tracking. Parents and guardians will also be able to contact the driver during the trip.
To pay for the rides, teens must use the default payment method attached to their guardian’s family profile.
As of the announcement Wednesday, May 17 the accounts are only available in select cities:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Bloomington, Indiana
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Dallas, Texas
- Dayton, Ohio
- Houston, Texas
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Nashville, Tennessee
- New York City + suburbs, New York
- Phoenix, Arizona
- San Antonio, Texas
- Tucson, Arizona
Uber says the new features will roll out in more locations soon. If you’d like to know when it will be available in more Indiana cities you can click here to sign up for notifications.