By Lisa Anderson
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - New York is about to get a new taxi app service – with cabs driven by women for women, according to a report in the New York Times.
Serving New York City, suburban Westchester and Long Island, the latest Uber-like taxi app will be available through an Apple application for smartphones as of Sept. 16, with an Android app to follow. It will be called SheTaxis in the suburbs and SheRides in New York City, due to regulations barring the use of “taxi” in the name.
Women who summon the service will be met by a female driver wearing a hot pink pashmina scarf.
Favored by women leery of getting into hired cars with male drivers or being groped by men on crammed buses, trains and subways, women-only transport can be found in many cities around the world.
India has its own women-driven fleet of taxis – also called SheTaxi – as does New Zealand.
Japan has had women-only train carriages on and off for more than 100 years, while similar female-only public transportation programs exist in Indonesia, India, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Pakistan and Iran.
The service in New York was founded by Stella Mateo, the mother of two daughters, who told the Times she would have been happy to have a female livery driver to ferry her girls to after-school programs and other activities when they were youngsters.
Mateo, who plans to expand the service to other cities including Chicago, Miami and Washington, D.C., said that SheRides also provides a channel for more women to enter the taxi and limousine industry, which has long been dominated by men.
Only 1 percent of New York City’s nearly 52,000 drivers of cruising yellow cabs are women, and only 5 percent of the city’s nearly 60,000 drivers of for-hire limousines and luxury sedans are female.
(Editing by Alisa Tang: firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, covers underreported humanitarian, human rights, corruption and climate change issues. Visit www.trust.org)