PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As smartphones have become ubiquitous and Uber and Lyft have become so convenient, minors are creating accounts — causing a problem for the ride-hailing businesses.
Both Uber’s and Lyft’s terms of service state that unaccompanied minors are not allowed in ride-sharing cars.
According to Lyft, “children are welcome to join passengers in a ride, but cannot ride alone.” They also said they send periodic reminders to drivers about this and other policies.
Uber said drivers are asked to report situations where a rider is underage in order for Uber to further review and investigate. They also stated account holders who allow their children to access their accounts risk losing access to Uber.
Uber recently partnered with the National PTA to proactively educate families on Uber safety with an awareness campaign called “Car Seat to College.”
Tim Lussier — affectionately known as Tesla Tim — is a driver for both Uber and Lyft. With nearly 6,000 rides and 4 years under his belt, he’s seen it all.
“You’re just trying to make a living, you’re trying to help people safely get around town — during the drunk hours, during the work hours, during the airport trips,” said Lussier.
Drivers may be aware of the unaccompanied minor policy — but are parents and kids?
“All Uber and Lyft require is that you have a credit card and a name. They don’t require a background check, they don’t require a license, they don’t require any form of ID,” he said.
Drivers feel that Uber and Lyft should fix this flaw in the system to prevent minors from creating illegitimate accounts by requiring age identification.
“Unfortunately, it’s all up to the driver to screen their passengers to make sure they are actually above age,” said Lussier.
This is costing drivers time and money — leaving them feeling useless and abused.
“It is really tough. You do see things and say ‘is this worth it?’” he said.
If enough drivers walk away because of this issue, Lussier said ride-sharing won’t be working much longer.