Jun 09, 2017
Woman-Friendly Version of Uber
Ride-sharing apps make traveling much easier, but also much riskier – numerous instances of sexual harassment and assault have been reported by female passengers and drivers alike of both Uber and Lyft.
It’s high time for a safer option.
Ride Safer, ride Safr
A new ride-share app has launched with the simple vision of delivering women safely from point A to point B: it’s called Safr, and it’s “built for and powered by women.”
Many women, traumatized by experiences in Lyft and Uber, would prefer an all-women service.
Safr is not exactly that, but the company does let riders select the gender of their drivers in order to ensure everyone feels comfortable. The app also has a built-in feature called SOS that lets riders automatically contact either 911 or a pre-designated contact when they feel threatened.
The hiring process for Safr drivers will also be much more selective than those of Uber and Lyft.
All applicants will be required to pass an in-person meeting and hour-long driving session with a current Safr employee before being hired on.
Safety is just the first step. Safr also wants women to feel empowered, and is therefore paying its drivers more than the industry standard.
As of now, 100 percent of Safr’s drivers are women, compared to only 14 percent for Uber as of 2015.
The company is on a mission not only to make ride-sharing friendlier for women, but to make the whole world friendlier too. To “spread the love”, the company will donate a portion of every ride far to a charity who supports women and families.
While Safr’s service will likely prevent many dangerous encounters, it’s important for women not to assume that an all-female ride is guaranteed to be safe, as proven by a violent UberPOOL incident in Chicago this past January where one female passenger lunged at another with a knife, cutting her face in several places. The two women had never met, and the attack was allegedly unprovoked.
This makes one thing clear: when it comes down to it, you’re still riding with strangers, and you cannot predict a stranger’s behavior.
Such lax policies around drivers and carpooling have caused consumers’ trust in Lyft and Uber to falter, and this wariness is responsible for Safr’s traction.
The service is currently only available in Boston, but hopes to launch in other cities across the country and internationally soon in a “girl-powered take-over.” With such frequent reports of frightening ride-sharing experiences, Safr could very well build up a solid customer base, or at the very least, inspire Uber and Lyft to adopt similar safety and screening capabilities.