If you haven't heard, Uber has been taking the world by storm. Uber is an app that connects riders with drivers using their phone's GPS capabilities that allows riders to know the cab's location and time of arrival. Uber presents a safer way to take a taxi, as the drivers must pass a DMV course and have background checks. These Uber drivers also must have their own car and insurance.
Despite the safety features of Uber, there have been several issues involving drivers sexually assaulting women riders. Thus, Chariot for Women, a new ridesharing service solely for women, has been born.
Chariot for Women, developed by Uber driver Michael Pelletz, will have all-women drivers and requires that these women drivers pass a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, the same background check required for daycare centers and schools.
“The app is built for safety. Every time the driver starts her day, she has to answer a random security question that changes daily to ensure her identity. When the passenger requests a ride, a safe word pops up on the driver and passenger’s phone,” according to the Chariot for Women website. “If the driver says the correct word, the ride may begin. If the driver doesn’t have the same safe word, the passenger then knows immediately not to get into that Chariot and will then look for the correct vehicle.”
In addition, the Chariot for Women passenger will also see a picture of their driver, car make and license plate number every time they are picked up by a Chariot for Women driver. The app has adapted the model of real-time GPS tracing and maps, so they will know exactly when their Chariot will arrive, rather than standing on a corner waiting for a taxi.
Chariot for Women will also pick up children of any gender under the age of 13, as well as anyone of any age who is transgender and identifies as a woman.
Chariot for Women launched in Boston on Tuesday, April 19 and is likely to expand to other locations in the future.