PHOENIX – A Valley Uber driver is calling out a school administrator for trying to turn his ride-share van into a school bus.
The man, who asked us not to identify him, said on Wednesday he showed up at the Arizona Academy of Science and Technology and was surprised to see six school children who appeared to be under the age of eight getting into his Uber.
In a video recorded inside his vehicle, a frustrated exchange takes place between the driver and the woman who identifies herself as an acting principal. The woman tells the Uber driver the person who requested the ride was the assistant principal since the principal was out of town.
After the children are loaded up in the van, the driver asks the woman if she is going with them. When she says no, he tells her he cannot transport the children without an adult riding with them. The woman asks him why, and he tells her it is against Uber’s company policy.
In the video exchange you hear the woman say: “So, every Uber ride we’ve had this week has a different story. Are you a Lyft or Uber driver?” The man responds that he is with Uber. The woman goes on to say, “Every Uber we’ve had has a different story. Why?” The driver responds by saying “They don’t know the policy. I have been doing this for over three years.”
ABC15 reached out to the school to get their side of the story.
Despite our repeated phone calls, we have not received a response yet. On their website, school officials state while they do not provide transportation for students, they are happy to work with families by linking them together and promoting car-pooling.
The Uber driver said he was bringing this story to light because he felt school administrators were putting the children at risk.
“It’s one thing to carpool with another family or an adult but another thing entirely to put small children in a strangers car you know,” said the driver.
A spokesman for Uber says under their community guidelines, children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. A rider must be 18 years or older to ride or have an account, or they can be accompanied by someone who is 18 years or older.
ABC15 will update this story as soon as we get a response from the Arizona Academy of Science and Technology.