So Long, Uber: This New All-Women Ridesharing App Will Be the Next Best Thing
If you've ever spent a night out on the town, odds are you've used the immensely popular Uber app to get from point A to point B and, like most customers, had an efficient and safe experience.
However, recent allegations against the ride-sharing app reveal that it might not be as risk-free as once believed — especially for women. In February, a former San Diego Uber driver was accused of raping an intoxicated female passenger. In March, BuzzFeed obtained internal information from Uber's customer support platform documenting thousands of complaints of sexual assault and rape over a period spanning December 2012 to August 2015. And more recently, the company agreed to pay up to $25 million to its California customers over accusations that Uber deliberately misled users about the thoroughness of driver background checks and the overall safety of the service.
Kind of makes you think twice about ordering your next Uber, no? But, luckily enough, there's a new ride-sharing app launching later this month that will provide reliable transportation without compromising safety.
Chariot for Women was founded by former Uber driver Michael Pelletz. After a fairly routine year of picking up and dropping off passengers, one disoriented, belligerent customer revealed to Pelletz how unsafe the service could be. He thought of his own wife and daughters and how their safety could be compromised by an agitated passenger like the one riding in his car. Wanting to prevent such a scenario from ever happening, he decided to create his own ride-sharing service—one that would be for women by women.
"We're doing this because there is such inequality when it comes to security that afflicts driver and rider due to gender," Pelletz told TechCrunch. "Women are across the world the ones being harassed and assaulted by male drivers. In my eight months as an Uber driver, I didn't hear any negative feedback from men."
The premise behind Chariot for Women is simple: Like most ride-sharing apps, users can submit a request for a ride and will then be matched with a driver. However, unlike other services, Chariot for Women features a patent-pending technology that will provide both users and drivers with a code after a request is made that will need to be verified upon starting the ride. In addition to this extra safety measures, drivers are screened using Safer Places, a service that uses the most rigorous background checks for potential drivers.
Even better, 2 percent of every fare will be donated to women-focused charities (an idea implemented by Pelletz's wife, Kelly, who serves as president of Chariot for Women).
The app officially launches on April 19, and will serve women and children over the age of 13 located in the Boston area. Though its initial release is limited, we can't imagine it will be long before these Chariots for Women are rolling across the entire country.
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