New Uber feature launches in Phoenix allowing teens to call for their own rides

A teen can only get an Uber account if it’s approved and linked to their parent’s account.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 3:53 PM MST|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 6:02 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The role of tech in kids’ lives is a controversial topic, and now it’s heating up with Uber announcing that teens can call for their own rides. This new feature is launching in 14 major cities, including the Phoenix metro area, on Monday. “I treat every passenger, every person, with the same level of respect,” said Brad Cloe, an Uber driver who participated in the Uber Teens pilot program in the Valley. “Uber has made it seamless to where it is no different to me than a regular ride.”

Mariana Esteves with Uber said the new feature was designed with safety at the top of her mind. She said a teen can only get an Uber account if it’s approved and linked to their parent’s account. Only seasoned drivers like Cloe are available for pickup. When they do, they’ll ask for a pin verification to ensure the teen is getting in the right car. Parents can also closely monitor the commute by tracking it in real time and speaking with the driver. “If you’re a parent, sometimes your second job is to shuffle your kids around, from commitment to commitment, so we know there is a need for kids in that way,” said Esteves.

However, parents like Valerie Weber are not on board. “Very unsafe for everybody,” she said. She believes kids will find a way to abuse the system. “Kids are smart; they’re especially smart online,” said Weber.

Uber drivers like Cloe view it as transparency. He said there may have been kids using the app under the radar. “In the past, we may not have even known, and it’s not our job to card people to know their age, so this program is a good program to get more clarity,” said Cloe. Uber drivers who don’t want to drive around with kids can opt out of the new feature.