By Natalie Lung | Bloomberg
Lyft Inc. is launching a function that may attempt to prioritize matches between girls and non-binary riders and drivers in response to demand for elevated security protections for its customers.
Drivers and riders who point out their gender choice as girls or non-binary within the app, or these with a consumer identify generally identifiable as a girl’s identify, might be given entry to choose in to the function referred to as “Girls+ Join.” The device will enhance the probabilities of matching girls and non binary riders with comparable gender-identified drivers.
Girls make up solely 23% of Lyft drivers, however account for practically half of its riders, in line with the corporate, which hopes to draw extra girls drivers with the brand new function. These numbers imply a most popular match isn’t assured, so girls riders, for instance, can nonetheless be provided a male driver if no Girls+ customers can be found close by. Customers can select to choose out of the function at any time.
Lyft and rival Uber Applied sciences Inc. are being pushed by traders and customers to extend security protections. San Francisco-based Lyft recorded greater than 4,000 claims of sexual assault from 2017 to 2019, the corporate mentioned in its first security report launched in 2021. The corporate has since confronted associated lawsuits from drivers and riders, together with one which alleges its classification of drivers as impartial contractors lets the ride-hailing firm evade legal responsibility for sexual assault.
Lyft had been urged by a shareholder group to publish an annual report on driver security and set up a course of by which drivers really feel they’ll flip down unsafe rides, though that demand wasn’t gender-focused.
“Girls drivers like the flexibleness that (Lyft) affords for earnings, however there are occasions, you already know, late at night time, or Saturday night time when issues get a bit rowdy, that they assume to themselves gosh, I simply don’t all the time really feel comfy,” Chief Govt Officer David Risher mentioned.
The Girls+ Join function might be rolled out in Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix as a result of there are favorable ratios of girls drivers to girls riders in these cities and gender info is obtainable on these states’ driver’s licenses, in line with Audrey Liu, Lyft’s head of design. Lyft will resolve whether or not to broaden the function to different areas primarily based on early buyer response, however Risher mentioned he hopes it will likely be accessible in all main geographies within the US by the top of the 12 months.
Uber has an analogous function referred to as “Girls Rider Choice,” which isn’t accessible within the US and is obtainable just for girls drivers to point their choice. It first launched in Saudi Arabia in 2019 and is now accessible in 22 different markets, together with Canada and Australia.
There are standalone apps and companies within the US and abroad that supply girls’s solely ride-sharing, though none has established a presence corresponding to Uber or Lyft.
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