We may be seeing some movement on the planned launch of the innovative Safr ride-hailing app, which is very similar to other ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft but will offer only female passengers rides in cars driven only by women. According to the Boston Globe, Safr is now “organizing private tests in Boston and plans to launch publicly this spring, despite questions about whether its business model is legal.”
In the experience of TRIPPS staff and volunteers, safety is the number one concern by far expressed by older women when the question of ride-hailing is raised. Many potential passengers are concerned about what they understand to be “inadequate” background checks as well as news stories about individual Uber or Lyft drivers who are involved in violent crimes. Others report concerns over security with their personal information collected by the app. Some older women report having used services like Uber and Lyft for transportation but only along with friends or only during the day, due to safety concerns.
Safr is attempting to address at least some of these concerns. Originally called “Chariot for Women,” the company eventually changed its name to Safeher. In April 2016, the service was forced to delay its planned Spring launch due to legal concerns. Just before the planned launch, the company was facing challenges on the basis of possible discrimination against male passengers and drivers.
We will update our resource guide as soon as we become aware that the situation has changed. Please let us know if you have any news!