Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is partnering with Kango to help keep families on their busy schedules regardless of whether they’re getting going in the morning or trying to get to all afterschool activities.
FCA will provide registered drivers for the San Francisco app-based, on-demand ride service with affordable leases on Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, just in time for the school year in fall 2017. The partnership will be unique in the US between an automaker and a ride-call service, aimed at school-aged children.
“Parents and children today are busier than ever and often need to be in multiple places at one time. The Chrysler brand is focused on providing transportation solutions for families to make their lives easier,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA – North America. “The Chrysler Pacifica is the ultimate family vehicle, and with the addition of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, it’s now the most fuel-efficient family vehicle. Together with Kango, we will make it easier for parents to manage conflicting priorities at work with the knowledge that their kids are being transported to their activities in a safe environment.”
Kango will deploy the new Kango-branded minivans in the San Francisco Bay area, to be used by Kango’s pre-screened, trusted drivers (currently numbering 250) for the transportation of children to school or activities, with or without their parents.
“Kango is excited to partner with Chrysler to make its new Pacifica Hybrid minivans available to our eligible drivers,” said Sara Schaer, CEO of Kango. “In addition to being a green vehicle with the best mileage of any minivan, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will help us meet the growing demand for shared carpool rides for groups of kids going places. Drivers save money on gas. Kids are delighted with the minivan’s kid-friendly features. It’s a win for everyone.”
Kango’s drivers and caregivers all have previous childcare experience. They are Trustline-certified, fingerprinted, background checked, DMV record-checked and screened in person. In addition, Kango is the only service insured to drive children of any age, providing car seats, as well as booster seats. Parents wishing to use Kango can meet a driver or sitter before booking the service for pre-scheduled rides.
Rides can also be booked as needed, say if a parent is delayed in taking a child to practice or lessons, and drivers can also pick up multiple families, for those who wish to share rides with their neighbours.
The Pacifica Hybrid is North America’s first hybrid minivan, making it friendly for the environment while boasting all the family friendly features for which Chrysler minivans have become known — multiple screens and the ability to call up games and apps via Uconnect.
Kango was founded in 2011 as KangaDo by Schaer and current CTO Kaliyuga Sivakumar. The Rides and Care service came along in 2015, allowing parents to not only book rides to get their children to and from school, but also to have them cared for until the parent gets home (or picks them up from another location).
The service currently costs $9 per month for membership, with rides based on distance and time (minimum of $16) and child-care services costing $15-$20 (based on level of services required) for a single child.