Chariot for Women, a new women-only ride-sharing service is preparing to launch in Boston, Massachusetts.
The service which surprisingly was not thought of by a woman is bound to launch on the 19th of April. The founder, Michael Pelletz said it was his experience as a Uber driver, when he was threatened by a passenger that led to the discovery of the company.
Pelletz wrote on the new company’s website, “What if I was a woman?” His worry for safety was the main reason why his wife was not enrolled as a Uber driver also. His wife, Kelly, is now the Chariot for Women’s President.
There have been numerous reports of rapes and assaults aimed towards women by most Uber drivers, and many others also felt threatened. Uber was questioned about its safety in March when one of its drivers, Jason Brian Dalton, allegedly shot and killed six people in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dalton did not stop picking up passengers in between his shootings. Uber also recently agreed to pay $25 million compensation for its background checks, which it lied about to most passengers.
Pelletz, said in contrary his own company would be safe primarily because of the stringent background checks that the company implements. Additional steps are also made to make sure riders correctly match with the drivers. The company is going to donate two percent of each fare to charity and will not use surge pricing.
An employment law specialist, Joseph L. Sulman, told news reporters that the idea sounded great but questioned its legality. Civil rights lawyers say the idea of only employing women and serving would put the company at odds and crosshairs with most of the gender discrimination lawsuits, which in any case are mostly difficult to win.
Pelletz however welcomed the legal challenge after announcing that the company was also opening up itself to transgender women and children aged 13 and below.
We want to show there is inequality in safety in our industry. We hope to go to the US Supreme Court to say that if there is safety involved there is nothing wrong with providing a service for women,
Pelletz told reporters.