My name is Sharon and I have a confession to make. I’m not a huge fan of ride-sharing.
Actually, that’s not 100% true. I don’t mind ride-sharing if I’m with my husband Joe (or any friends or family member). But as a female, and a pint-sized one at that, being alone in a car with a male stranger as the driver gives me the willies.
Of course, I know that the chances of him somehow hurting me is relatively minimal. But the headlines do pop up more often than I find comfortable:
- Lyft driver accused of raping and robbing Miami Beach hotel guest (March, 2022)
- Uber driver charged with raping passenger during Vegas ride (Dec. 2021)
- Lyft driver charged with kidnapping, raping passenger (Nov. 2021)
- Kent Uber driver charged with rape of 13-year-old girl (Nov. 2021)
- Lyft released sexual assault data: 4,158 incidents (Oct., 2021)
- Uber reveals extent of sexual assault problem: thousands of abuse reports a year (Dec. 2019)
And before any suggests that taxi drivers are just as guilty of such crimes….I’m well aware and don’t take taxis by myself either.
According to Top Class Actions, you can’t specifically request a female Uber driver. Women can only refuse a ride by an Uber driver they don’t feel comfortable with. The same goes for Lyft. Meanwhile, in South Africa, Mexico and Australia, female and non-binary Uber drivers have the option to select a preference to only pick up female passengers (but not the other way around – female passengers in those countries still can’t request female drivers).
So what’s a girl to do?
Well, remember when we wrote about niche alternatives for Airbnb for people who might not feel 100% comfortable in a typical home-sharing situation (read: seniors, travelers of color, LGBTQ+ travelers, travelers who keep kosher, Muslim travelers, etc.)? The same thing goes for rideshares.
As it turns out there are a few (very few) ride-sharing companies out there that only employ female drivers and only accept female riders.
- HERide established itself in 2019. They can be found in the Atlanta area.
- Trips 4 Women was also established in 2019. They’re available in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Kansas City, Atlanta, California, Washington DC and Detroit.
There are a few others that aren’t (or weren’t) accessible in the U.S. at this time:
- The website for Safr says they’ve temporarily stopped rides and deliveries due to COVID. Their Facebook was last updated in the summer of 2021. But when they were active, they were apparently available in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Orlando, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. (“I wish I had known about them before COVID,” said this Orlando resident).
- DriveHer was (notice the past tense. Another “we’re shut down right now because of COVID”) based in Canada.
- SheSafe and Shebah are both based in Australia.
- There are still others, such as SheTaxis and See Jane Go that went out of business years ago.
So yeah – ride sharing options with womens’ safety in mind are out there, but they’re few and far between. Definitely not an easy thing to find. If the likes of Uber or Lyft could make it an option, I’d be on board, literally and figuratively, in a hot second.
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