Incidents of women passengers, and even drivers of ride-sharing companies are more common than previously believed.
As incredible as it may seem, especially since both drivers and passengers have their details registered in the ride-sharing app, and drivers having to go through a background check before becoming employed by the the company. But it still happens.
Sometimes the attack takes place during the drive, but other times harassment ensues after the journey has been completed. Since ride-sharing apps allow drivers to see passengers' contact information, sometimes drivers misuse this feature -- if they are so inclined -- and they can continue calling the passenger even after the ride.
With this growing frequency of sexual aggression and/or harassment threats to personal safety, a niche has been carved in the industry. In the U.S. women-only ride-sharing services like Safr, See Jane Go, and in Australia Shebah, have started providing safe rides to female customers, and they also provide income opportunities to women drivers.
In the Boston area, a former Uber driver launched Chariot for Women, which has a unique safety feature not available with other ride-sharing apps. Chariot's patent-pending technology gives the driver and the client a code in the app after a ride request has been made. When the car arrives, the driver and passenger compare codes and make sure they match before the passenger gets in the car.
Female customers' voices in Asia have also been heard. Their need for an all women driven ride-sharing service, catering to the female population has started being addressed as well. Last year Riding Pink was launched, and earlier this year Ladies Only Riders and Drivers (L.O.R.D.) was also introduced, with nearly 100 women having registered as drivers. So far both companies only operate in Malaysia.
Customers are not only wary for their own safety. Some people use the women for women ride-sharing cabs to also send their children to and from destinations, including school.
Although female friendly ride-sharing apps are proving to be the answer to women's safety issues, it would be good to see the other companies implement some stronger security measures. Perhaps installing security cameras in the cars, or panic buttons, or even offering social interaction classes with special awareness to sexual harassment.
Uber's requirements to become a driver for the company include a background check, even so, there have been countless Uber drivers who have sexually assaulted women. A law firm in the U.S. has posted an ad online advertising their services to individuals who have been sexually attacked by an Uber driver.
Requirements to become an Uber driver in the U.S.