Photo (cc) by Damian Morys Photography
Female-only drivers sporting hot pink pashmina scarves will distinguish New York City’s newest taxi service from all the rest — the scarves and the fact that SheTaxis caters to women passengers.
According to The New York Times, SheTaxis, called SheRides in New York, was designed to attract women who feel more comfortable being driven by a female driver.
The women’s livery service was started by Stella Mateo, a mother of two daughters, who said that she could have used a female driver to help shuttle them to soccer, field hockey, basketball and gymnastics practices when they were growing up. Ms. Mateo’s husband, Fernando, is the founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, an industry group representing 30,000 taxi and livery drivers.
Requests for rides will be taken through an Apple app, and an Android app will eventually be released, CBS said. Potential riders must have a woman in their party. Otherwise they’ll be redirected to another taxi service.
Mateo told the Times that her new female-only car service is a great way to get women employed in a mostly male-dominated field. Says the Times:
Of New York City’s 59,999 for-hire drivers of livery cars, green cabs, limousines and luxury sedans, only 2,952 of them, or 5 percent, are women, according to city data. Even fewer women drive yellow cabs: 574 out of 51,874 drivers, or 1 percent.
SheTaxis has already recruited 50 female drivers.
While many women passengers are excited to have the option of a female driver and vice versa, CBS said some male taxi drivers are upset.
“This is very bad for us because it takes our jobs,” one driver told CBS. “Why the discrimination?” said another.
Mateo told the Times she wants to expand the livery service to Washington, D.C., Miami and Chicago, among other cities, in the next year.
Service in New York begins Sept. 16.
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