A new mobile phone app that matches women drivers with female passengers has powered up in New York City.
The Uber-like smartphone app called SheTaxis/SheRides was launched after some initial delays because of too few women drivers to serve the demand.
SheTaxis is the name of the service in the New York suburbs, while SheRides is used in the city itself, which has regulations governing the use of “taxi” in a name.
The idea of the service, which will feature female drivers wearing hot pink pashmina scarves, is to provide safety and convenience to women as well as economic opportunity.
“I think it’s a safer way of working, because we don’t deal with money and normally we are going to pick up 90 percent just women. Even if you call with a man the two of you could come it. It’s not just women. And it’s safer,” said Dinorah DeCruz, a SheTaxis/SheRides driver.
“Sometimes when you pick up a woman in the morning, they are always late, they are putting on makeup, sometimes they put the nylons on in the back and everything and if it’s a man, they won’t do it. And sometimes if they have a problem, they will talk to me,” she added.
SheTaxis/SheRides said the service could also benefit some Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women whose religious beliefs prohibit them from traveling alone with unrelated men.
“We are not a car service as such. We are an app that pairs women with other women,” stressed Stella Mateo, founder and president of SheTaxis/SheRides.
Mateo said in New York City, there are about 600,000 taxi rides per day. She also said less than three percent drivers are women, but about 60 percent of riders are women.Taxi dispatch call centers across the city help to coordinate the SheTaxis/SheRides service.
Mateo said another goal of the SheTaxis/SheRides service is to encourage women to become small business owners by driving on their schedule.
“Mothers that want to work that don’t have the flexibility of a schedule, here we go. College students, girls, that want to go out there and work when they’re not in school to help pay for their education. It’s a great opportunity. Women are really welcoming it.”
DeCruz said it works for her.
“I pick the ones I need, that I’m around. And if I could go on a break to have lunch, I shut it off, then I put it back. It’s comfortable because you are your own boss.”
According to SheTaxis/SheRides, this is the only female-only driver service of its kind in the United States. And the company hopes to launch similar female taxi services in other parts of the country.
Do you think it is a good idea? Can a similar service be replicated across territories worldwide?
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