Posted: April 19, 2016 Contributor: administrator

All-Female Car Service Better for Women Than Uber?

Uber has now become a part of our daily vocabulary.  It’s used as both a noun and a verb – “I am taking an Uber, are you Ubering there etc.” While the car service Uber is known for its affordable rates (unless you hit surge pricing…we’ve ALL been there) recently it’s been associated with something far less favorable and downright unacceptable—sexual assault and rape.

The dark side of Uber

In fact, a report by Buzzfeed found that Uber’s customer support system received 6,160 complaints with the words “sexual assault”  in them between December 2012 and August 2015. Uber replied to this claim saying that these numbers were “significantly overstated” and that they have had less than 170 claims during that time period.

The fact that sexual assaults have occurred during an Uber ride is enough to worry us. The idea that we could be assaulted is unacceptable. The exact number doesn’t matter. Many of us (both male and female) rely on car services to get us home after making the wise decision not to drive after a night of drinking.

Chariot for Women

A new company, Chariot for Women, provides an all-female car service in the hopes of creating more safe-ride options for women. Essentially the service will work similarly to Uber but with an all-female staff and all-female customers (with the exception of moms with boys 13 and under). In order for riders and drivers to know they have the right person, both will be required to say a password.
It’s unfortunately not just Uber passengers in danger, female Uber drivers have their own reasons to worry for their safety as well. Uber rape and sexual assault are certainly worrisome and now, Chariot hopes to increase safety for all.

Plans for the future

The company has not yet launched but was planning on starting in Boston this month. It has postponed starting its services until they can get more female drivers. Time will tell if Chariot takes off and while it’s a great idea, it’s upsetting to realize that women still don’t have the freedom to feel safe taking any form of transportation they choose without fear of rape or sexual assault.

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