New Lyft feature for women and nonbinary people launches in Chicago
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.
- From 2017 to 2019, 4,158 sexual assaults and 10 fatal physical assaults of Lyft passengers and drivers were recorded, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reported.
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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