Most customers have probably not woken up one day and thought “Uber and Lyft are not really doing it for me – who else offers ridesharing services?”. And why is that? Because Uber and Lyft both do a good job. The apps work, there are enough drivers, the rides are cheap, the passenger reviews don’t lie.
On the driver side, this does not necessarily hold true. Juno, an up-and-coming rideshare app, promises to provide a better relationship between the drivers and the company.
On the customer side, apparently there are a couple of niches where other ridesharing apps and services still see a valuable unsaturated market, too. One of these niches is safety, specifically safety for women. Chariot for Women is a new ridesharing service where both drivers and customers are exclusively women.
You may have noticed that many Uber drivers are male. While Uber has tried to push up the number of female drivers (in fact, Uber aims at creating 1 million jobs for women by 2020 across the globe), many women refrain from doing so because of safety fears. And those fears are legitimate, not just for Uber, but for all ridesharing services.
Chariot for Women wants to make ridesharing safer both for drivers and for passengers – by permitting only women to take either of those roles. The app is using additional safety features as well, to make the whole experience as safe as it can be:
Code-matching – for every ride, the driver and the passenger get a certain code. Once the driver reaches the passenger, these codes must match before the ride can commence. The match ensures that the passenger does not get into the wrong ride, and that the driver does not get a wrong passenger. The technology used for the code-matching is currently patent pending.
Thorough background checks for drivers – not anyone can be a driver for Chariot – each potential driver will be screened for possible criminal offences, among other things. Proper background checks are expensive, but Chariot for Women is prepared to pay for the background check to ensure the quality of their drivers.
Worth noting is that Chariot for Women will also allow children under the age of 13 (regardless of gender) to use the service. This is a smart move – allowing children to use ridesharing services or taxis on their own is not something a parent likes doing. If the parent can be sure that their child will only be driven by someone who had to undergo severe background checks, they will feel much more at rest knowing their child will be in safe hands.
Chariot for Women has been founded by Michael Pelletz, a former Uber driver. Clearly, he saw the need for an additional niche ridesharing app in his time at Uber. It looks like he might be onto something with his idea. He is expecting some legal battles, because his service shuts out 50% of the population from using it (which is discrimination), however many will agree that this app is probably necessary.