Singaporean

Schoolber, A Carpooling Service For School Kids Gains Traction, But Also Mixed Support From Parents

Travelling around Singapore has been made easier since the introduction of ride-sharing services such as Uber, Grab and Smove, with the keys to their success being convenience and affordability.

Well, it seems that the idea of sharing a ride has been taken up by parents as well, with the new introduction of Schoolber – an UberPOOL of sorts for school children.

What Is Schoolber?

Schoolber's website/ Image credit: Schoolber
Schoolber’s website/ Image credit: Schoolber

Schoolber is a private school-going transport service that claims to be quick, safe and affordable.

Like UberPOOL, Schoolber requires drivers to pick up their customers while on the way, but instead of one passenger, they pick up a group of school children. The drivers are parents who are sending their children to school.

According to TODAY, it was created by a married couple – husband Toni Teh and his wife Charlemagne.

The app aims to allow parents to have extra snooze time instead of getting up early to send their kids off to school. It’s also a prayer answered for busy working parents.

Teh was hit with the idea of creating Schoolber when he was fetching his nine-year-old son from school and saw a group of his son’s classmates waiting at the bus stop. He then realised that by coming up with a service that would help parents to send and pick up from school, he would be solving a very pressing problem.

Released only two weeks ago, the app has already received 200 parent drivers who’ve signed up their interest, and 1,000 parents who are planning to enrol their children with the service.

The app would also notify more worried parents of when the transport is arriving, and also when their child is dropped off safely at the destination.

Netizen Concerns Over Children’s Welfare

Despite overwhelming responses to Schoolber, many parents still aren’t as supportive of the idea.

The reason? Safety concerns over their children’s welfare.

Facebook comments show that some parents are still worried about insurance, or the lack of it, that will cover their children in cases of accidents. With school buses, insurance is usually guaranteed, and parents can safely rest in knowing that they are covered lest something happens.

TODAY's Facebook comment on Schoolber
TODAY’s Facebook comment on Schoolber
TODAY's Facebook comment on Schoolber about insurance
TODAY’s Facebook comment on Schoolber about insurance
Schoolber's Facebook comment asking about insurance
Schoolber’s Facebook comment asking about insurance

Another issue that parents are concerned about is whether they could trust a driver they don’t know and put their children’s lives in the hands of a stranger.

The safety of the child is of utmost importance to parents, and some are uncomfortable with the unknown safety risks they will put their child in if they agree to Schoolber.

TODAY's Facebook comment on trusting a a random driver
TODAY’s Facebook comment on trusting a a random driver
TODAY's Facebook comment on children's safety
TODAY’s Facebook comment on children’s safety
Parent's comment on their child's safety with Schoolber
Parent’s comment on their child’s safety with Schoolber

Monetising Something That’s Done Out Of Generousity?

The idea of carpooling with school children isn’t new.

In fact, it has been done before, but instead of the driver being paid for it, they did it voluntarily. Parents took turns sending children from their neighbourhood to the same school as an act of kindness and friendship.

However, what was once an act of graciousness, might now be another way for people to make money.

In a tough economic situation, that of which is happening right now, it’s a great move as people are still able to make money to help themselves. But, is it taking away the generosity of a person’s nature?

If we’re going to get paid now for every little thing, most of which can be done from the good of our hearts, does this now make us a more money-minded nation?

The intention behind Schoolber is definitely good, but we do hope that not all apps and services created in the future aims to generate income for doing something people can do voluntarily.

Feature Image Credit: expatliving.sg

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