A new rideshare app will launch on April 19th. It will work exactly the same way as popular ride share companies, Uber and Lyft, except for one thing: it’s only for women (and kids).
Founded by Michael and Kelly Pelletz, the company is called Chariot for Women and cars will be driven only by women, and the passengers will only be women and children (boys under the age of 13 can ride).
Inspiration came from Michael’s experience as an Uber driver. According to Huffington Post, he had an “unsafe” experience as a driver and thought to himself, “How would a woman handle that situation, especially when I was so nervous myself?” To add, his wife had once considered driving for Uber, but was afraid to because of safety concerns.
Based in Boston, Vox reports over 1,000 women have already signed up to become drivers.
Safety Is A Priority
The Pelletz team has taken extra steps to help ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers. Some examples include:
- When a driver logs into the app to start their shift, she must answer a random security question to confirm her identity.
- When a passenger requests a ride, a safe word pops up on both the driver and passenger’s phone. When the driver arrives, if the women don’t have the same safe word, it’s not the correct vehicle.
- The company uses Safer Places for background checks, which is known to have stricter policies.
Kelly has implemented a plan to donate 2 percent of every fare to women-based charities. Each month, customers can choose from the app which local or national charity they’d like their 2 percent to go to.
But Is It Legal?
Recently, there’s been some chatter about gender-discrimination. Joseph Sulman, an employment law specialist told ABC News, “You can’t limit hiring to just one gender…From a public accommodation aspect, you can’t limit who you offer your services to just one gender.”
But with multiple reports of Taxi and Uber drivers assaulting and harrassing women, Pellets is prepared to fight. Chariot for Women’s lawyers stand firm that their business is within the law and they’re focusing on a successful launch.
I personally love that this couple is raising the bar on women’s safety, security and well-being. Not only does it help provide peace of mind, but more opportunities for women to feel safe in their work environment. I wish them the best in success and hope they expand to more cities soon!