However, more and more people are finding that the companies’ services are unsafe for women. Many reports have been filed against Uber and Lyft drivers for harassment, and the recruitment process to find new drivers has been accused of negligence. A new report found that thousands of current Uber and Lyft drivers in the state of Massachusetts failed the state’s new background checks.
Women routinely suffer harassment as drivers and riders, and it is about time for an alternative transportation service that caters to the safety and comfort of women and girls. The good news is, that alternative has been realized!
Safr is the female-friendly alternative to Uber and Lyft that aims to remove the barriers that make it difficult and discouraging for women to ride and drive. The Boston-based company launched last month and already has over 1,000 applicants eager to drive.
“There is obviously a need for another option for women in ridesharing,” says Joanna Humphrey Flynn, a PR and Marketing Manager for Safr. “The current environment doesn’t really allow women to fully participate. Safety concerns create roadblocks and make it harder for women to ride and drive at night.”
Though it was designed with women in mind, Safr is not just for women. The app consists of many features that make using the ride-sharing app safer (get it?) for everybody!
With Safr, riders and drivers both have the ability to choose which gender they feel most comfortable riding with. There is a color matching system that sends the riders and drivers a color-coded message during pickups to ensure that passengers get into the correct vehicle. Another feature allows users to connect directly to 911 or to dial Safr’s 24-hour command center.
All prospective drivers are required to go through an extensive recruitment process, which includes a background check, an in-person meeting, and an hour-long driving session with a member of Safr’s staff.
Before being able to work, every driver is assigned an experienced mentor with whom to undergo safety training. All of these steps guarantee that every driver will be well-informed on how to professionally and safely do their job, and also ensure that more women are in the driver’s seat.
Currently, only 14% of Uber drivers and 20% of Lyft drivers are women. Meanwhile, the drivers for Safr are all women at the moment! However, men are by no means discouraged from joining. With all of the benefits drivers and riders receive from using the app, the average ride costs around 10% more than Uber, but that is only $1.00 more for an average $12.00 fare. The workforce is paid more, and the first 1,000 drivers are guaranteed to receive 90 percent of each fare. Other drivers will take around 80-85%, which still is not bad.
By using Safr, you can help to create a greater gender balance in the ride-sharing economy, or, if you’re less ambitious, simply take comfort in the prospect of having a safer ride. Safr is currently only operating in Boston, but the company hopes to spread to other cities soon!
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