Carpool, Family Coordination

Making Carpool Coordination Easier

Scheduling and coordination is the bain of my existence. Any time saved coordinating daily is a benefit to my day.

I love my kids’ carpools, but scheduling can be time consuming. Moreover, daily coordination can be a challenge as well. I’d glad that I have OtoZen, it makes the communication easier without constant texts and calls.

Here’s how it works. My son is an 8th grader, and he carpools with 2 other families that have kids at two different elementary schools. I do most of the driving, and we usually have a tight timeline (teens are not early risers!).  WIth OtoZen, the other families can see when I’m about to arrive at their house so the kids can be ready to go. It’s chilly in the morning so kids don’t have to wait outside for long.

Since it’s a 30 min drive and I have to make multiple stops, OtoZen can tell me at all times when I will arrive at each school. Based on traffic, I can decide whether to take the bridge or not (which costs $4 but saves about 5 min each way). For peace of mind, the other parents can see when I arrive at each school. And if at any time during the drive a parent needs to message their child (they don’t have smartphones -- yet), they can just voice message the car via OtoZen and their message will play over the car speakers automatically. I don’t have to pick up the phone.

If I’m doing the afternoon pickups, my son can see when I’m going to arrive (it varies, depending on how long it takes me to pickup the other 3 carpool kids).  He can also voice message me while I’m driving if he is running late so I don’t have to rush.

The other parents are thinking about getting OtoZen devices, too. Next year when my son goes to high school, the other families are going to hire a paid driver to drive their kids to school, and they want the same opportunity to track their kids’ location (via a live link, while the driver drives) to school and back. They will give the driver an OtoZen device to use every day for this purpose.  It’s especially comforting that there is a 911 emergency button that the driver can press that will automatically notify emergency contacts and 911 in case of a collision.

The holidays are coming up and I think I’ll give my sisters OtoZen devices so that they can give their daycare providers the non-driver app which will enable the caregivers to get their kids ready to leave in time for pickup ( so my sisters don’t have to wait -- getting their daughters to pull away from their activities takes 10 minutes at least!)

I’m also thinking about asking my son's high school if the bus driver could install an OtoZen device in the bus (i the PTA won’t pay for it, I’m happy to do so for my own peace of mind) so that I can see that my son safely arrives at the high school too.  It will be a benefit to multiple families, since all they need to do is download the non-driver app and they will be able to see when their kids arrive at school too.

And in 2 years when my son starts driving, I know that there will be a device for him to use to develop good driving habits.