Zemcar receives​ A+ from Boston Moms Blog!

We recently linked up with Boston Moms Blog to give Zemcar a try. The review is in s across the board!!! Here are a few highlights from Timika and Rae’s experience with Zemcar:

Every parent knows the difficulties that come with managing the schedules of multiple household members. Between parents’ work schedules and children’s activity schedules, there are many times when we could use an extra set of hands or better yet, an extra set of wheels. Within my own family, there is one particular recurrent calendaring issue an overlap of approximately 30 minutes where schedules become nearly impossible to cover.

And this is where I could use a service like Zemcar for peace of mind.

Safety: A+

Zemcar offers a number of features that really made me feel comfortable allowing my 10-year-old daughter to use their service. The drivers are thoroughly screened and trained (more about them later), parents can upload special notes about drop-off locations and child needs into the app, and parents designate supervisors within the app as the only people who can retrieve a child after drop off. These components are wonderful on their own, but my favorite feature was watching my daughter via video monitoring during her ride. It is obvious that safety is the number one priority for the Zemcar team they have covered every base.

Rae’s feedback: A+

So, how did the passenger feel about her first Zemcar ride? I asked Rae what her thoughts were, and here’s what she said: “ thought it was really, really good. The lady was very, very nice, and she would talk to me and keep me company, unlike some people that don’t like to talk. From start to finish, this was a superb service with wonderful features. It was so convenient — I will definitely use it again!

From Boston Mom’s blog. Read the entire review here. And don’t forget to download our app and give us a try!

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Zemcar in the News: “Safety-first Ridesharing Startup Zemcar Shifts into High Gear”

“Nearly 10 months after taking over the driver’s seat at Zemcar, CEO Juliette Kayyem said the ride-hailing startup is hitting the gas, with plans to expand and raise cash.

“This will be our first major back-to-school effort,” said the chief executive about this coming September.

But, the security expert cautioned that her company that’s focused on providing safe rides for kids is heading for “controlled growth.”

So far, the three-year-old startup has raised about a million dollars in angel funding and has grown to employ 57 active drivers and generate a pool of 100 additional potential drivers in various stages of interview and screening.

And the company is steering towards a large fund-raiser likely to be completed this fall. Mostly for expansion, the funds would help the company quadruple its number of active drivers and to foray into two other East Coast markets by next year.

‘The long term goal for the company is expanding in Boston and putting a footprint in East Coast states,” Kayyem said. “Whether it’s an institutional raise, family fund or strategic investment, we will need capital as we expand.'”

From BostInno.com. Read the entire article here.

ZemDriver Spotlight: Judith

Zemcar has some pretty amazing drivers and we’re adding more every day. We thought it was time to share some of the amazingness with all of you. Let’s start this week with Judith.

Judith is an Arlington resident who is very dedicated to her community. In fact, Judith started her driving ‘career’ long before joining Zemcar. She tells us that she began driving people back in high school – and the word “chauffeur” was actually under her yearbook photo :). Not to mention she was an actual chauffeur, driving for a limo service, at one point in her life. And in recent years she has kept up with the title and often drives the neighborhood children to different activities. Judith’s children are grown now and she wanted to stay connected to the community in a meaningful way, and driving for the young families in town made sense. “I just love helping people and providing transportation is one way I can help,” Judith told Zemcar’s Director of Operations.  

Then she heard about Zemcar through her husband’s colleague who was using the service. What a great way to help more families (and make some money doing it!!!). Judith is a strong believer in the safety and convenience of the service for busy families – she has experienced it first hand. “The vetting process here at Zemcar is so comprehensive that, it seems to me, the safest way to transport a child short of a family member,” Judith remarked when asked what she would tell parents that are on the fence about trying something like this. In terms of drivers, Judith encourages those who like to be around kids to give it a try. And, Zemcar rides are scheduled ahead of time so there is an opportunity to better plan your day than with other rideshares, she added.

As if this was not already enough to make you want to schedule a ride with Judith ASAP, we found out that she also runs a part-time thrift shop to benefit the local Arlington library and volunteers with the Arlington public schools even though her daughter graduated four years ago.

Let’s not forget about Judith’s career as well – she was a technical writer for 15 years. Her first job was at one of the original startups ever – Symbolics – founded by more than 20 people from MIT’s AI lab. Judith went to law school and passed the bar but went into the tech industry instead.  

Judith is just one of the fantastic drivers here at Zemcar. We hope you get a chance to meet her or one of her colleagues soon! Questions, please contact support@zemcar.com. And download our app at https://www.zemcar.com/parents.

 

Zemcar and CoachUp Partner to Better Connect Parents, Athletes, and Coaches

The two Massachusetts-based companies are working together to ensure athletes can safely and securely get to and from their coaching sessions.

Cambridge & Newton, MA – CoachUp, a Newton-based company that connects athletes with private coaches, is partnering with Cambridge-based startup Zemcar, the safest rideshare for families on the go, to make it easier for parents to get their athletes to and from private coaching sessions.

Now when CoachUp clients receive confirmation of their coaching session, they will be linked to Zemcar’s services in the event the athlete needs a ride. Parents can then use the Zemcar app to identify their preferred drivers and schedule rides in advance, making it easy for families to fit in getting to and from their coaching sessions.

“We are excited to be partnering with CoachUp,” said Juliette Kayyem, CEO and Co-Founder of Zemcar, adding “I have used CoachUp with my kids and know first-hand that transportation can be a major pain point. This partnership will make it easier for parents to solve that problem.”

“Coordinating busy schedules between coaches, players and parents is a challenge we often see,” said CoachUp CEO, John Kelley. “We view our partnership with Zemcar as an opportunity to provide a seamless and trusted solution for parents balancing many demands for their time.”

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About Zemcar:

Zemcar, the safest rideshare for families on the go, connects busy parents with qualified drivers to solve their family’s transportation needs. Founded in Boston, Zemcar has the industry’s first in-ride live stream and is the only rideshare company in Massachusetts insured to transport unaccompanied minors. A scheduled rideshare service, Zemcar provides peace of mind by allowing parents to select from a pool of trusted drivers that undergo an enhanced screening and education process.

About CoachUp:

CoachUp is a service that connects athletes with private coaches in 30+ sports. We truly believe that private coaching is the secret to reaching the next level in sports + life. We are the nation’s leading private coaching provider with over 15,000 private coaches in every sport, all across America, and we aim to provide every athlete who comes to us the opportunity to find a coach who can take their game to Another Level™.

Contact:

Zemcar:
Sam Medeiros
(774) 644-3090
sam.medeiros@zemcar.com

CoachUp:
Tarah Novak
561-324-4960
tarah@coachup.com

Zemcar CEO Juliette Kayyem Talks Travel

If you are like me, you have perfected the business travel situation — I pack light, navigate security like a pro, and even find time to grab a coffee and catch up on emails before boarding. Now enter “airport mom.” This woman is a mess. She is mean at times, unforgiving of delays or disruptions of any kind, and quite frankly unrecognizable from my ordinary persona. While slightly less of an agitated mess, there is also “road trip mom.” Long weekends like the one coming up for Memorial Day or July 4th usually find us packing into the car on some beach or lake adventure. Whatever the method of travel or the destination, something comes over me when preparing for and executing travel with the family…

As summer approaches, whether you are planning long flights abroad or weekend trips to the Cape or Maine, know that you are not alone in your mix of excitement and anguish as the trip commences.

Over the years, I have found that there are ways to alleviate some of the agitation and uncertainty that often plagues family travel. Here are three fairly simple things to help you get ready, and eventually, relax and enjoy.

  1. Get Informed. Do your research. If you are traveling to an international location, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (‘CDC’) website to find out about any infectious diseases to be aware of or any vaccines or medications your family should get before traveling there. Also, visit the State Department website to get a general sense of the state of things in the country you are traveling to – are there any areas to avoid, what are the tips for remaining safe, are there preferred options for travel and lodging within the country, etc. If you are traveling domestically, check out the state and local websites. If it is a touristy type destination, they will often have helpful travel tips and information front and center. Basically: situational awareness is key.
  2. Be prepared. For example, if your children have allergies, you can print out a form online that has the names and explanations of the allergies in the language spoken in the country you are traveling to so you can present this information to medical personnel if something occurs to prevent miscommunication. You can also find a list of doctors on the country’s consulate page that speaks English in case of an emergency. And whether domestic or abroad, do your children know the name of the hotel or location of the homeshare where you are staying in case you get separated? Do they know how to call the authorities where you are located? These are simple things that can be the difference between a minor mishap and an emergency.
  3. Be smart. Wear seatbelts, swim only in designated areas, don’t eat/drink questionable things (I am all for adventure, but there is a limit!). Just because you are on vacation does not mean all normal rationale and everyday precautions should go out the window. Approach choices with the same common sense you would at home, and encourage your children to do so as well. And keep important documentation and money protected – whether that means keeping copies of passports alternate locations, or stashing some extra cash in a hidden zippered section of your luggage, it is just good practice to have a backup plan to ensure you and your family have the access to the things you need.

These are just a few of the things I focus on to remain in control as “airport mom” begins to rear her ugly head!

Happy Memorial Day to all. Travel Safe.

 

CEO Juliette Kayyem, aka “Security Mom”, Reflects on Mother’s Day

As we approach Mother’s Day this coming weekend, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the important work we all do to protect our families. I am a self-proclaimed “security mom.” For me, that means a professional who focuses on security for her customers and a mother who strives to protect her home and family. Now as the CEO of Zemcar, the most trusted rideshare for kids, I know that obligation extends to our community of riders and drivers.

A “security mom” is someone who seeks to minimize all risks, maximize defenses, and still maintain who we are as a society, community, and family. This, of course, applies to dads, grandparents, and other caregivers too but it’s not your day on Sunday!  

So, a little bit of a throwback to my book and one of my favorite passages that made me realize that every parent is, ultimately, a “security” parent.

How could I explain that we all had the capacity to build more resilient communities, one home at a time, using the same skills we have mastered at home: grip, flexibility, planning, backup plans? Then, in 2011, my cousin Karen wrote me an email. The subject line read: “Al Qaeda.”

Karen is a little older than me, with daughters who are already out of college. She is a dentist, and she has, over the years, scolded me for barely flossing. Thankfully, she also gives me great advice for how to address my deteriorating gum situation (read above re: flossing). I try to return the favor when I can.

“Hi Juliette,” she began. She continued:

Can you help? Debbie is in Pennsylvania and she wants to go to NYC for the weekend. But I just saw that they think there could be a ten-year anniversary attack there, so I don’t want her to go. She says I am crazy. I said I would contact you. Would you send your kids? By the way, how are your gums? Are you flossing? Don’t forget to sleep with your night guard. And let me know about the terrorists.

Dental care and bin Laden: never before have the two been so closely aligned. But there was something illuminating in Karen’s questions. She wanted to assume a certain amount of responsibility for her daughter’s safety, but she didn’t know where to begin. Her email clarified what I had always suspected – there is something missing from our nation’s security efforts.

Karen just wanted the lowdown: Tell me about these scary things, whether they are terrorists, natural disasters, or viruses. Tell me how it works and what I should do to protect my loved ones. Tell me what you would do if it was your child who wanted to travel this weekend. Tell me just like I would tell you about your gums.

Simply: Bring it home.

6 Questions About Safety to Ask Your Kids’ Summer Camp

Hi ZemFamilies! We know you are all busy getting ready for summer break (bring on the sunshine, please!), especially for those summer camps, reviewing itineraries, going over the ‘rules’ with your kids, and packing more sunblock than they could possibly ever need. But have you given any thought to some of the not so fun stuff that may (unlikely, but may) occur while your kids are at camp? Things like medical emergencies, accidents, or even wandering kiddos. If you are like us, and we suspect you are, the safety of your kids is very important to you. You want to make sure you are sending your kids to a place that is prepared for anything.

Lucky for you, here at Zemcar we have expert advisors that can help you ask the right questions when it comes to the safety and security measures in place at your camp of choice.

One of our advisors, Julie Egan, a founding member of Bright Horizons, says, “Selecting the right summer camp for our boys was always a process. The challenge was finding three camps that matched their ever-changing individual interests, met budget, had availability, and were logistically possible. Once that fun algorithm was created, our final decision was always based on the camp’s attention and detail to the health and safety policies.”

Here are a few of Julie’s go-to questions when it comes to health and safety:  

  1. Are counselors/staff required to be CPR/First Aid certified?
  2. What is the ratio between staff and campers?
  3. Are there background checks performed on counselors?
  4. Does the camp have a “crisis management” plan similar to the plans required by schools?
  5. Is the camp licensed by the state to ensure they meet health and safety guidelines?
  6. What systems are in place to keep track of campers (especially on a field trip)?

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of things you probably want to know, the answers to these should help ease your mind a bit and let the camp administrators know that you are on top of this (along with everything else!!!) and that they need to be too.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your kids about how to keep themselves safe. Being away at camp is a big step towards independence for many kids. Empower them by providing them with some tools and tips on how to have a healthy and safe experience. And fun, of course!

 

What exactly is Patriots’ Day anyway​?

If you’re not a native New Englander you’re probably wondering why so many people are out of work on Monday. That’s because it’s Patriots’ Day! “What is that,” you ask? Well, let’s just make one thing clear – yes, we love our football team but don’t be fooled, Patriots’ Day has nothing to do with our 5-time Superbowl champions.

Not to be confused with Mark Wahlberg’s movie about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, Patriots’ Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine on the third Monday in April that celebrates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Yes, those Battles – the ones that started the American Revolution with Paul Revere, his midnight ride, and the “one if by land, two if by sea” signals from the Old North Church. In modern-day New England – Patriots’ Day is celebrated with the running of the storied Boston Marathon and a rare 11am start for the Red Sox so that the fans at Fenway can catch the end of the race.

So while Patriots’ Day has a much deeper meaning to New England, and the country, then a marathon and a ballgame, Joon Lee of The Bleacher Report captures what Patriots’ Day means for those who’ve celebrated it for their entire lives: “At its core, Patriots’ Day represents a tribute to the city of Boston, its history, culture and people. For one day a year, longtime Bostonians, children and college students pack the streets with one shared purpose: celebrating the city they live in.”

4 Ways Zemcar Is Challenging The Gig Economy

 

1. Safety and Security

At Zemcar, the safety and security of our riders and drivers is our number one priority. As a premium rideshare service, we’re committed to ensuring that we have the most qualified drivers on the platform. All of our drivers are required to have childcare experience, five years of driving under their belt, and must pass a rigorous screening process that includes background checks. On our platform, drivers will no longer have to worry about late night rides with unruly or belligerent passengers.

2. Kid Focused, Parent Approved

When you think about the gig economy, you don’t exactly think about services for kids – but that’s our entire focus. Building an app designed for transporting kids is no easy feat, but we’ve managed to put together a platform that ensures the comfort of parents and kids alike.

3. Bridging The Gender Gap

A new study shows that women who drive for another rideshare platform make about 7 percent less per hour over their male counterparts. One reason, the study claims, is because women spend less hours driving due to family constraints. Another reason is that women tend to drive slower, meaning that even when they can drive, they take less rides. At Zemcar, we’ve created a platform that helps level the playing field. As a predominately scheduled ride service, drivers are able to plan their day around rides instead of driving around looking for customers. Also, drivers are not allowed to accept rides 30 minutes before a scheduled ride – so there’s no incentive to drive faster than necessary to complete a ride. In fact, this model has been so successful that about 66% of Zemcar drivers are female compared to the 27% national sample the study used on another platform.

4. Technology 

McDonald’s has the Big Mac sauce, Twinkies and Krispy Kreme have their secret recipes, Zemcar? Zemcar has its technology. From our patent-pending Circle of Trust and safety technology to our built-in panic button and geo-fenced routes, Zemcar’s technology is revolutionizing the rideshare industry and the quality, safety, and security we expect from these platforms.