The latest addition to the niche urban cab app market is SheRides, a cab service exclusively for women employing only female drivers, which will afford security and peace of mind to female riders who may feel uncomfortable or unsafe with a male driver. The New York Times reports this morning that SheRides (known elsewhere as SheTaxis but forced to use a different name in NYC because of restrictions on use of the word “taxi” by livery businesses), which has six employees, has already recruited 50 female drivers to its cause.
All of this is, in a word, awesome. Amid increasingly broad awareness, conversation, and sensitivity to women’s experience of the world, from catcalling to threats of violence to acts of violence, there is no shortage of reasons for women-only livery service to exist. Even beyond the horrors that are in the news, I have heard personal accounts from my female friends that range from vague creepiness to outright battery. This may be far from the norm, but it doesn’t change the fact that the possibility and the fear loom for many women each time they order an Uber, or flag down a yellow cab on the sidewalk.
Though some male cab drivers have been hostile toward this female-driven cab venture (pun intended), such a reaction only affirms the need SheRides is fulfilling. The response from other livery companies has been reportedly positive, on the whole, and SheRides plans to expand to more U.S. cities in the coming year.
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