Sep 13, 2023 - News

New Lyft feature for women and nonbinary people launches in Chicago

The prompt that women and nonbinary passengers will receive from Lyft. Photo: Courtesy of Lyft

Women and nonbinary Lyft drivers and riders in Chicago are among the first in the U.S. to have access to a program designed to make them feel more comfortable during rides.

Driving the news: The rideshare company launched Women+ Connect yesterday in Chicago and several West Coast cities, including San Diego and San Francisco.

Why it matters: Lyft hopes its new program will provide an additional layer of safety and confidence for women and nonbinary drivers and users.

State of play: Some have questioned the safety of ride-sharing, and recent reports indicate a startling number of violent crimes have occurred during Uber and Lyft rides, The New York Times reports.

By the numbers: Women make up about half the riders on Lyft but only 23% of drivers, according to Lyft.

How it works: When drivers turn the Women+ Connect feature on, the app prioritizes women and nonbinary riders. Riders will see a prompt on whether to activate the feature.

  • Chicago was chosen to test the feature because it's one of the cities that "vary in terms of the demographics of both drivers and riders," a Lyft spokesperson tells Axios.

Yes, but: Lyft says it will prioritize the preference, but it's not guaranteed.

What they're saying: "The ultimate goal is that with fewer barriers to driving, more women can access flexible earning opportunities (through rideshare) — whether they're driving to build a business, support their family, or simply to enjoy earning good money while meeting great people," the Lyft spokesperson says about the new feature.

What's next: Lyft says after it evaluates how Women+ Connect works in Chicago and the other four test cities, it will look to roll it out nationwide.


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