Samantha Sharp :
“Mum’s Taxi” Gets A Break as OneLane Launches
Samantha Sharp :
New family service helps parents get kids to schools and activities
London parents struggling with ferrying their kids to school and other activities now have a new option - a family ride-and-care service, which provides safe transportation for children with drivers who are experts in childcare, dubbed ‘Guardians’.
OneLane soft-launched in London in March 2016, serving zones 1-3. Used by a few dozen families during this beta-testing period, high customer retention and repeat rates confirm that OneLane addresses major pain points for parents – helping to replace stressful scenarios with quality family time.
OneLane now plans for further expansion throughout the capital, with carpooling and wraparound childcare features launching soon.
Reducing stress & time pressure
OneLane means no more nerve-wracking school runs, battling through congested streets, fighting over inadequate parking spaces; And, for working parents, it allows freedom from the guilt of not being able to be in two places at one time. Children can lead active social lives, while parents gain extra time to fulfil work commitments.
Anne, mum to Michelle, aged 11, says, “OneLane has been a life-saver for me. I no longer have to leave work earlier to pick Michelle up, or have to pay for expensive nannies with a minimum number of hours. With OneLane, I am paying only for the drive time. Also, how cool that I get real-time updates on the ride and can rest assured that Michelle has been picked up and is on her way to ballet class."
Finding a family’s perfect match
Parents can enjoy peace of mind about their children’s safety when they use OneLane’s family service. Each ‘Guardian’ is experienced in childcare and thoroughly vetted, with enhanced DBS checks as standard.
Because OneLane wants to build trusted, long term relationships between families and ‘Guardians’, it offers a match-making service, whereby the ‘Guardian’ is pre-introduced and the same person is used for all regular journeys. This familiar face becomes a valuable member of the family’s support network.
Through the OneLane app, parents can select to ride-along with their children for any of their scheduled journeys. However, if they are not present, they can take advantage of continuous ride progress updates and notifications when their child has reached their destination. For added safety, OneLane ‘Guardians’ chaperone children inside the venue they are attending and sign them in to activities.
Meet the Guardians
OneLane ‘Guardians’ are parents, nannies, childminders and teachers, selected because of their proficiency in caring for children. In addition to being great with kids, they are impeccable drivers too. Their driving behaviour on every journey is monitored by the OneLane team to ensure that high standards are maintained.
Coming soon – wraparound childcare
Parents who need additional childcare before or after scheduled journeys will soon be able to book it through the OneLane app. From July 2016, wraparound childcare will be available. For those who have already developed a strong bond with a OneLane ‘Guardian’, this will be a valuable extension of the service, freeing up more time for parents for work or other commitments.
Carpooling – the cure for school-run congestion
From September 2016, OneLane customers will be able to opt to carpool with other families via the OneLane app. This benefits the customer financially, reducing the cost from the current £9 flat fare for journeys under 20mins to an average of £7 or less per journey per child. It also helps to tackle the increasing problem of school run traffic congestion, which has repercussions on road safety and air pollution.
The OneLane team
OneLane was founded by CEO Camron Moradi, an experienced Internet and automotive industry professional who was part of the team that built Just Eat in the UK, taking the company public.
Head of Business Development, Jina Kwon, who joined from Groupon, is a London-based mother of one and is passionate about addressing key family issues through OneLane.
She says; “Our service reduces parental stress, which has the knock-on effect of improving family relationships and enhancing family quality time.”
Jina is also keen to drive benefits for society as a whole. She adds, “Our carpooling feature will help to reduce the number of cars on the roads. Less congestion means improved road safety and less air pollution. It is our ambition that the OneLane car fleet should be zero or low emission by 2018.”
Key players in the team include Head of Operations Richard Riley. His invaluable experience in sustainable mobility solutions, car club services and technology platforms provides a wealth of insights that will help develop OneLane’s family service in the future, so that it can continue to serve families and communities to the best of its ability. He is also a father and has first-hand experience of the family problems OneLane solves.
Facts & stats
• It is estimated that mothers spend two weeks every year driving children around
• Child-related journeys are thought to result in an annual petrol bill of £1,714.04
• The school run adds 1 million vehicles to UK roads at peak times
• In the 5-10yrs age group: 46% walk to school, 46% travel by car, 5% by bus
• In the 11-16yrs age group: 38% walk to school, 23% travel by car, 29% by bus
• The average primary school trip takes 13 minutes; distance is 1.6 miles
• Average secondary school trip: takes 25 mins, distance is 3.4 miles
• Children spend 26hrs a year being driven to school compared to 18hrs 20yrs ago
 90% of parents who have tried the service to date have re-booked several times.
 Source: National Travel Survey 2014
 Source: Sustrans - a leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day