Mobile

Mercedes-Benz has a ridesharing service just for Palo Alto kids

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Image Credit: Mercedes Benz

Long before Uber’s family service launched, the research and development arm of Mercedes-Benz kicked off a pilot ridesharing service just for kids.

The service, called Boost by Mercedes Benz, is debuting in Palo Alto, and it takes Uber’s transportation model in an interesting direction. Instead of shaking up the taxi and limousine industry, Mercedes-Benz has it out for school buses and car pools.

Operating under the radar since last fall, Boost extends the ridesharing concept to a new, questionably-profitable level. Although the market for time-constrained parents is surely huge, it’s unclear if this system of chauffeuring children to and from school (or swimming lessons) can scale. After all, unless Mercedes-Benz someday changes the daily habits of the masses with Boost — or at least a large portion of the upper-class — there won’t be much value in it for the firm.

One-way rides start at $22 — a fare too steep to replace school busses for all but the richest families.

Following the uproar over San Francisco’s infamous tech buses, this trend of sending youngsters off to school via an app could eventually ruffle feathers — if it ever grows beyond the current pilot.

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