Starting tomorrow, September 16, if you are a woman in need of a taxi in New York City, Westchester County or Long Island, there’s a new livery service app launching just for you. Think Uber, but for women passengers only, and a fleet of cars with women in the driver’s seat wearing pink scarves.
The New York Times reported, “The service will be called SheTaxis – SheRides in New York City because of regulations barring it from using ‘taxi’ in its name – and aims to serve women who may feel uncomfortable being driven by men, or who simply prefer the company of other women.”
Once you order up your cab via the SheTaxis app, you’ll know your ride has arrived when you see a lady driver behind the wheel rockin’ a hot pink pashmina scarf (we’re not making this part up).
SheTaxis is the brainchild of 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.” She’s also got first-hand knowledge of the taxi biz… her husband is the founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, an industry group representing 30,000 taxi and livery drivers.
So in addition to helping women passengers feel safer and more comfortable, Stella sees her service as a way to help women join an industry that has long been dominated by men, a topic we covered in September 2012.
“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,” according to the New York Times.
With NYC and its surrounding suburbs as her test market, Stella already has plans to roll out her women-only livery service in Washington, Miami, Chicago and other cities during the next year. Similar services already exist in India and New Zealand.
The SheTaxis app will be available tomorrow, September 16, for iOS devices only. It will eventually be made available for Android.