Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Asian Ride-Sharing Apps Speed Up to Cut Men Out of Equation

 This is great idea.  Forever, women have been preyed on by a very few men and quite rightly all women need to exercise real caution and that is not always completely possible.  So long as the only way we can separate wolves is through priors, we truly need this.  

We also really need to develop protocols to identify prospective predatory behavior as soon as possible and discover if it is possible to retrain the individuals.  Not least, we will have to particularly address the problem of violence related drinking.  It has been argued that the controlling spirit is driven out of the body after around five beers or equivalent.  If the physical brain is well trained, then no problem.  Otherwise a brain trained to be responsive to violence is another matter.

In the meantime, all women can be easily protected in this manner.  The taxi industry should jump on this in order to preserve market share.  It is the sort of value add they now need...

Asian Ride-Sharing Apps Speed Up to Cut Men Out of Equation

Sonia Singh, a driver with Koala Kabs in New Delhi


A confluence of #MeToo–era resistance and market interests is driving a wave of women-specific ride-sharing services across Asia. 
This OZY original series explores how the #MeToo movement is reverberating around the world.
New Delhi–based Shailja Mittal had hired a cab driver to take her 11-year-old daughter to school. But one day, when he didn’t show up and sent another man instead, the mother in her decided to take charge. The city routinely ranks in polls as among the most unsafe in the world for women, and a worried Mittal drove her daughter to school herself. But she didn’t stop there. The incident sowed the seeds for Koala Kabs, a ride-hailing service the 34-year-old launched in June 2017, with an entirely female team of drivers catering only to female passengers.

The startup is among a fast-growing series of ride-sharing services across Asia that are either emerging or reshaping themselves to offer safe travel options to women as they increasingly step out of homes into public spaces that are often still unsafe for them. For some, it’s an act of resistance coinciding with the consciousness of the #MeToo era. For others, there’s the economic incentive of an untapped market, as even the most conservative societies like Saudi Arabia gradually give women more rights.

In Pakistan, Pink Taxi launched last year with a fleet of 15 drivers — all women. Dubai-based ride-sharing giant Careem has registered more than 2,000 female drivers across Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam in Saudi Arabia in just 15 months since the country lifted its ban on female drivers in September 2017, says its co-founder Abdulla Elyas. The company has pledged to hire 20,000 female drivers — it calls them Captainahs — by 2020 across its operations in 15 countries, mostly in West Asia and Pakistan. SheJek, a “sharia-compliant” motorbike-sharing service for women with only female drivers, launched in Bandung, Indonesia, in the summer of 2018, and already has 27,000 registered users. Obon, in Bangladesh, started earlier this year and recruited 50 female drivers in its first three months.
The giants in the industry are scrambling too, to better portray themselves as sensitive to women’s safety concerns. Uber in March this year introduced an emergency button that directly calls 911 if pressed. GrabHitch — the car-pooling service that Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-sharing service, offers — lets passengers choose between male and female drivers. A Grab spokesperson tells me that the company has “proactively” expanded its safety features since its 2012 launch, including in-car dash cameras and driver authentication through selfies. 

And at the opposite end of the ride-sharing spectrum, fledgling newbies like Koala Kabs are only getting more ambitious. The firm started with seven drivers and now has 15. By the end of 2019, Mittal wants to have 75 female drivers.

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Singh believes that patriarchy “can no longer make [her] feel unsure or unwanted.”
“There is a big demand,” says Mittal.

As a concept, ride-sharing services catering specifically to women aren’t restricted to Asia. There’s Little Cab in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria; Shebah in Australia; WomensTaxi in South Africa; FemiTaxi in Brazil and DriveHER in Canada, for instance. In the U.S., there’s Boston-based Safr — which has now spread to other American cities and beyond, as far as Pakistan — that, like Grab, allows customers to choose male or female drivers.

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