Uber’s New Teen Rides Program 2024

Teenagers throughout the US now have a new option for getting around: Uber’s teen rides program, which was further expanded on Thursday. This program allows teens aged 13 to 17 to have their own Uber accounts, enabling them to hail rides and order food independently after being added to a family profile by their parents. Parents receive notifications each time their teen uses the service, and they can set spending limits for rides and food orders through the app.

While Uber has long prohibited minors from riding without an adult, many teens have attempted to create their own accounts. However, drivers are instructed to ask for identification to verify the rider’s age and decline the fare if the person is an unaccompanied minor using the traditional Uber app. In contrast, Lyft, Uber’s main competitor, does not permit minors to ride without an adult.

How to Sign Up for an Uber Teen Account

  1. Open your Uber app.
  2. Tap Account > Family to create a Family profile.
  3. Tap Invite family > Teen > Choose contact and select their name from your contacts. (They must be at least 13 years old.)
  4. Make sure your payment information is up to date before your teen requests their first ride.

The aim of the teen program, according to Uber executives, is to simplify the lives of both parents and teens. With the busy schedules of teenagers nowadays, arranging transportation to various activities can be challenging for working parents. Sachin Kansal, Uber’s vice president of product management, highlighted the logistical challenges parents face in coordinating transportation for their teens.

Uber began testing teen accounts in Canada in 2022 and later expanded testing to several U.S. cities. With the recent addition of California, Uber teen accounts are now available in over 250 cities across all 50 states. Extra safety measures accompany teen rides, including live-trip tracking for parents to monitor their teen’s ride, sharing the driver’s information and vehicle details, and requiring a unique PIN from the teen to start the trip.

To further enhance safety, Uber uses sensors and GPS data to detect any deviations from the planned route or early trip endings. In such cases, the app sends notifications to the teen, their parent, and the driver to check in. Additionally, the app records audio of each trip, which is encrypted and accessible only if an incident report is filed with the company.

With live safety features and real-time updates, parents can track their teen’s ride from pickup to dropoff, providing peace of mind. Additionally, Uber has introduced a new monthly spending limits feature, allowing parents to take control of their teen’s spending directly from the app. This feature enables parents to set a custom budget for their teen’s rides and meals for the entire month, with options for unlimited spending, custom spending budgets, or no spending allowed.

Setting up monthly spending limits is easy:

  1. Access your Family profile in the Uber app and select your teen’s account.
  2. Under Spending limits, choose to edit either Rides or Orders.
  3. Select between Unlimited, Limited, or No spending allowed options to set your teen’s monthly spending limit.

Spending limits reset on the first of every month, and parents will only be charged for what their teen actually spends each month. This new feature not only provides teens with freedom but also offers peace of mind for parents—and their wallets—when it comes to getting their teens where they need to go.

Despite concerns raised by drivers and the community, Uber stands by the safety of its teen program. However, the introduction of this program sparks discussions about the balance between convenience and safety in the realm of teen transportation.