AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Another ride sharing app is rolling out this month – but it’s just for women.
Only women can drive, and only women and children can ride as passengers. Creators believe it will be a safer option for women who want to utilize ridesharing.
The new app, Chariot For Women, says it’s driving women towards empowerment and safety.
Its owner, Michael Pelletz, says he’s a former Uber driver, who has personally felt “unsafe” during a ride. Pelletz says safety is the priority, and that drivers are thoroughly background checked before they can accept a request.
Pelletz says the background check goes back seven years into a person’s record – including their driving records. The company will also work with law enforcement and say background checks would take three to five days. Pelletz tells KXAN that when he was an Uber driver – he passed in just 18 hours.
Drivers are also asked security questions before they start the day, to ensure their identity.
“I think it’s a really great idea,” said Meredith Taylor, who uses ridesharing apps. “I’ve personally never had any trouble with Uber, but if there’s women out there that feel uncomfortable then, there should definitely be action taken towards that, and so I think that’s a really great idea.”
However, not all women are sold on the idea.
We talked to a Lyft driver who says she feels safe enough to drive overnight.
“Why can’t we provide safe rides for everybody?” said Lenell Ripley. “And that’s what, I as a Lyft driver and my fellow Lyft drivers, we have meet ups weekly and that’s a key issue, safety. For ourselves as well as our passengers.”
Ripley believes both men and women deserve a safe ride.
The app will pre-launch on April 19 in Massachusetts.
It will eventually launch nationwide – once the company is confident the app can handle all the expected traffic.
Pelletz tells us they would stay in Austin even if the city starts requiring mandatory fingerprint background checks for ridesharing drivers.