Launching in New York City, Long Island, and New York’s Westchester County on September 16, SheTaxis is a new (granted, another) ride sharing app. But this one is different. Unlike Lyft, Uber, and Gett, SheTaxis caters exclusively to female clients employing only female drivers who wear pink scarfs.
Developed by Stella Mateo, wife of the founder of the New York Federation of Taxi Drivers, the service allows the user to request a ride via smartphone app, which in turn asks the user if there is a woman within the requesting party. If not, the user is recommended to use another ride service.
While some may claim other services are perfectly safe and therefore there is no need for such an exclusive client base, multiple reports of sexual harassment by male Uber drivers demonstrates a demand for SheTaxis. Furthermore, the concept of a female-only ride system may be new to New York, but cities around the world already have similar services for women. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, offers female-only metro cars during certain hours and India offers female-only train cars, as well as a female-only taxi business.
Critics of the NY service argue the company cannot discriminate against clients on the basis of gender. Samuel Estreicher, professor at New York University School of Law states,
I think SheRides creates a problem under the discrimination laws… They can take all measures to make sure that only responsible drivers are engaged, but cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, even if they are just catering to the preferences of their customers. That is generally not a justification for sex discrimination.”
The service hopes to expand to DC, Miami, and Chicago in 2015.
Read more here- “SheRides, a Woman-Only Car Service, Plans New York City Launch, but Lacks Regulatory Approval,” (Pete Donohue, New York Daily News)