This past Wednesday, Didi Chuxing announced its plans to lower the minimum passenger age from 18 to 16 years old after gathering constructive feedback from customers.
Amidst all the concerns regarding late-night safety, the ride-share giant decided to bar minors from riding on their own last October. This move was unsuprisingly not well received by adults or minors alike.
China Daily reported that this inconvenienced many aged 16 to 18 years old, as they needed to head to work or school but the age restriction “gave them no alternatives but to turn to illegal cab services or black cars.” In response Didi stated, “It was never our intention to push some independent minors toward the more dangerous gray areas.”
In February, Didi set up a poll seeking public opinion on whether minors should ride Didi alone, in which 56% of users voted yes. Those who voted yes believed that a safe ride starts with stricter management of the drivers, not with the passengers’ age. Opponents argued that guardians are ultimately responsible for their children. In another poll, 80% of participants have also voted for lowering minimum age restrictions, according to China Daily.
Didi proposes that users with the proper, verified age will be able to ride alone after setting up emergency contacts. This is part of the ‘Minor Protection Plan’ which allows riders’ relatives or friends to track their travel status on the platform. For any minors under 16, riders still must be accompanied by someone of 18 years of age or older on any ride.
In North America, Uber’s company policy states that the age restriction to ride is 18 years old.
[Cover image via Unsplash]