Soon women in New York City will be able to request a lady cab driver. I’m not sure, but this might be as exciting a choosing a female OBGYN for my annual pap smear. Sorry, dude doctors.
According to the New York Times, on September 16 a service called SheRides will open in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island, offering exclusively female drivers to female riders. There’ll be an Apple app through which you can request your ride and your driver will wear a hot pink pashmina, because … FABULOUS.
Naturally, dudes will probably try to get in on the SheRides party by requesting their own lady driver but if there’s no women in their party, there will be no ride.
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.
Ms. Mateo said she also saw her service as a way to help women join an industry that has long been dominated by men.
In New York City, only five percent of livery cabs drivers are women and only one percent are yellow cab drivers. But some female drivers receive more requests than they can handle. Take Miriam Malave, who has been a cabbie for thirty years. She says many Hasidic women in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn will only ride with women drivers, but she still faces sexist foolishness from her fellow dude drivers, like “This is a man’s job. Go home and cook.”
Ultimately, SheRides sounds like the perfect going-to-college gift for all those parents sending their freshmen to NYU, Columbia or Pratt and love to say “Take a cab home if you’re out late!” If you give them SheRides credit, maybe they will?