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

Image Credit: Mercedes Benz
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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.

More about the companies and people from this article:

Uber Technologies Inc is known as Everyone's Private Driver. Uber operates an on-demand car service used all over the world. With the touch of a button from your phone, you can experience your own private driver. Sign-up quickly, g... read more »

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10 comments
Monica Lewandowski
Monica Lewandowski

What's the point of being rich if you can't bask in the glory of exclusivity painted with bright magenta on an emboldened flint black Mercedes mini Van?

Peter Farago
Peter Farago

and this officially marks the beginning of The Bubble

Joachim Fashola
Joachim Fashola

Nice concept. I welcome anything that frees up the streets, so many parents chauffeur their kids to/from school these days. I reckon 90% of their cost goes towards liability insurance? #lawl

Nechi Almogy
Nechi Almogy

Interesting. Expensive. Definitely helpful. Will deprive me of the best conversations with captive kids.