You know those bumper-stickers or vanity plates proclaiming to be a “taxi” for some member of the family, usually kids? Czech manufacturer Škoda has found some truth in that statement and developed a mobile app that easily tracks rides and charges riders in kind.
The Škoda Parent Taxi enables parents to exchange rides to friends’ houses, the library, team practices, etc., for household chores. The company found that if parents would charge their children in accordance to London taxi fares, they would generate about $20,400 Canadian in revenue (it didn’t say how much it would be in Uber rides) over the roughly 2,650 km they rack up on their vehicles.
Available as a free app for Android and Apple, the app easily tracks rides using the phone’s GPS and converts the ride length into household chores — washing the car, walking the dog, doing the dishes, etc. — according to a mileage-per-chore converter set by the parent/chauffeur. It works similar to a taxi metre, in that it must be started when setting off and stopped when reaching the destination. And like real taxis, each journey starts off with a minimum charge — one chore.
On arrival at the destination, the app totals the journey length and reveals the chore equivalent for the trip, with the “receipt” shared via text, email and/or on social media. It will keep a record of journeys and fares and can also keep a running total. Users can even create a bespoke receipt, for that personal touch. It doesn’t, however, enforce payment.
“It’s true that kids generally have a better social life than adults and as result that can mean a lot of car journeys each week,” said mommy-blogger Jo Middleton, who tested out the app while chauffeuring teenage daughter Belle around. “Although I love encouraging them to get out and do more, I think it’s a great idea to swap miles for some help around the house in return.”
Škoda research found that 89% of parents regularly ask their kids to help out around the house, with the most common chores being tidying up their bedrooms (62%), doing the dishes (30%) taking out the trash (29%) and vacuuming (23%).
However, 47% of parent-drivers also admitted enjoying the drive time to catch up with their kids, and 44% don’t mind the time and distance involved in order to encourage their kids to have active social lives.
The app and more information are also available at www.skoda.co.uk/discover/taxi-app.