COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs School District 11 is working with HopSkipDrive to help students get to and from school.

Chief Communications Officer of District 11, Devra Ashby, said they have been using the same transportation system for the past 60 years and change was needed.

“At the beginning of the school year, we started to experience a decline in our staffing and our transportation department. So, we were starting to fall behind on our routes, starting to experience delays and getting children to and from school,” stated Ashby. “So, our superintendent came in and said, we’ve got to be able to look at this from a different perspective.”

By working with HopSkipDrive, Ashby said the district is able to bridge the gaps by providing more efficient routes in the transportation system and bring students to school on time.

“It’s similar to a rideshare program, but it’s specifically built for K-12 students and it helps us to bridge that gap so that we can focus a little bit more on efficient routes and efficient driving through our transportation system,” stated Ashby. “But also, getting some outliers in our transportation system to school and from school on time.”

HopSkipDrive works with school districts around the country to help provide transportation for students in the community.

“We partner with districts to modernize school transportation. We determine and optimize bus routes that would be better filled by small vehicle transportation,” said Miriam Ravkin, Senior Vice President of Marketing, HopSkipDrive. “This solves for the school bus driver shortage that so many districts are experiencing.”

Ravkin said the drivers are independent contractors who go through several background checks.

“They’re independent contractors who have passed our 15-point certification process,” said Ravkin. “And this certification requires a minimum of five years of caregiving experience as well as multiple background checks and a vehicle that’s ten years or newer.”

District 11 parent, Jamie Aminsharifi, said bringing this ridesharing service to the district is great.

“About a month ago, I was telling my husband that I wish there was Uber for kids because we spend so much time and we’re just getting them around,” said Aminsharifi. “So I think it’s a really cool idea.”

Parents and guardians can use the app to schedule rides for children. The app also displays the driver’s route and parents can be notified of each stage of the trip.

HopSkipDrive outlines the process online of how the service works from the start to the end of the ride.