Should the U.S. Have an All-Female Ride-Sharing Service?

Photo courtesy of Shebah

The night this happened, my brother had spent an evening with friends bar-hopping and enjoying the nightlife downtown.

At about 1 a.m. he set up an Uber ride and waited for a blue Subaru to arrive and safely shuttle him home.

When a Subaru pulled up in front of the bar that matched what Uber said would arrive, he opened the rear door of the car and sat down with a loud exhale followed by a, “Whew… what a night. How are you doing?”

There was no response.

He looked toward the driver’s seat and saw a terrified young woman gripping her steering wheel.

“You’re not my Uber, are you?”

The woman shook her head. My brother apologized and quickly exited her car.

It’s a funny story but illustrates the potential danger that drivers and passengers both face.

A new ride-sharing company in Australia hopes to minimize dangers by offering only woman drivers and allowing only woman passengers. Could the U.S. use a similar service?

I’m a firm believer that, for the most part, people are good and aren’t looking to hurt or take advantage of others.
Unfortunately, reading the results of a Google search for “female Uber driver attacked” starts to make me rethink my optimism.

It’s a fact that female passengers and drivers are at risk and do occasionally run into problems. To combat that, Shebah, the Australian woman-only version of Uber, has launched and already has hired more than 245 drivers.

Company director Georgina McEncroe came up with the idea after she looked at becoming an Uber driver and had bad experiences as a passenger.

She said,

The problem with young women and the Uber situation is that those women know that the Uber driver knows where they live.

Ride sharing is a growing trend and one that is replacing traditional taxi service in U.S. states and in countries around the world. Driver and passenger safety is of utmost importance and new startups, such as Shebah, are likely to sprout up and force the large companies into addressing the rare, but inherent, dangers of ride-sharing.

Stopping guys like my brother from getting into the wrong car, though, will take a little more thought.

Do you think there should be a ride-sharing service in the U.S. for women only?

-tgriffith

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