Local Atlanta, GA, news station Alive 11 reports that a rideshare company catered exclusively for women is launching in Atlanta. Called HERide, the company was founded by Jillian Anderson, a former Lyft driver of four years.
“The main thing that makes us different is we are for women by women,” founder Anderson said. “All of the drivers on our platform are women.”
“I was probably one of the earliest Lyft drivers in Atlanta,” she said. “I would normally drive at night, and I would pick up a lot of women and they were canceling rides until they got a woman driver.”
“There’s been women that have been followed, she added. “There’s been women that have been contacted after their ride. Women that have been touched on.”
As we regularly report, thousands of assaults are reported to Uber and Lyft every year, according to the companies’ own data.
Uber’s most recent safety report shows between 2017 and 2018, there were nearly 6,000 reported sexual assaults during or after a ride. They also reported an average of 4 rapes reported each week.
Lyft released similar data a year later, revealing more than 4,000 reports of sexual assaults from 2017 to 2019.
When Uber released their 2019 safety report, the company vowed to release safety and assault data every two years. When asked why no new report has been released since, an Uber spokesperson explained the delay is because they are waiting on NHTSA’s 2020 FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting Data) report, which has not yet been released.
Anderson says when the idea of a women-only rideshare company came to her, it seemed so obvious.
“Women feel uncomfortable in ride share and rides all the time,” she said. “It just dawned on me and I was like, wait, there aren’t any apps that cater just for women? Half of the people that take rideshares are women.”
So she launched HERide, with co-founder and marketing director Kiersten Harris. They’re still in the fundraising and driver interview process, and will be selecting drivers using a stricter criteria than either Uber or Lyft.
“When a driver signs up, I want to meet you,” Anderson explained of their process. “Not only do I want to see your car, but I want to see who you are, the type of person you are.”
Even during a pre-launch, the women of Atlanta have seemingly spoken.
“The response has been insane,” Anderson said. “We have over twenty thousand downloads on our platform…customers that have downloaded our app, created an account and are waiting for us to go live. Women need this. Women need the option.”
You can download HERide or learn more here.