Nov 2, 2023 - News

Tampa Bay women, nonbinary ride-share users Lyft each other up

a woman driving looks back and smiles at a passenger

Los Angeles-based Lyft driver Catherine Alonzo (right). Photo: Courtesy of Lyft

Women and nonbinary Lyft drivers and riders in Tampa Bay now have access to a program designed to make them feel more comfortable during rides.

Driving the news: Tampa Bay is one of 50 metro areas that now has the ride-hail app's Women+ Connect feature. The program initially launched in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose in September.

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

Details: The program's Tampa Bay rollout will include St. Petersburg and as far north as the Spring Hill area, but not Lakeland or Sarasota counties.

State of play: Advocacy groups and regulators have questioned the safety of ride-sharing. From 2017 to 2019, 4,158 sexual assaults and 10 fatal physical assaults of Lyft passengers and drivers were recorded, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reported.

  • A male driver for Uber was arrested for sexually battering a female passenger Wednesday morning in a St. Petersburg parking lot, according to police.

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 matching women and nonbinary riders. Riders will see a prompt on whether to activate the feature.

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


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more