The Reuters network recently featured an article detailing the Nigerian ride-hailing app HerRyde, which features exclusively women drivers. The app launched in August 2022, with 10 drivers and logged approximately 500 rides in its first month in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja. The driving force behind the launch of HerRyde was to cater specifically to female customers who had experienced less than ideal customer service using other platforms.
The article features a customer of HerRyde, a 31-year-old lawyer and model named Hauwa Shakir. According to Shakir, she had some scary experiences while using other companies. Male drivers would engage in inappropriate chat or their general demeanor would make her feel like she may be attacked.
There are no official statistics in Nigeria on read-hailing app sexual assaults. While there is no official data, the local media is awash in stories of female passengers and drivers falling victim to harassment, robbery, and sexual assault. Alli-Oluwafuyi, co-founder of HerRyde says these stories are what prompted the company’s development.
Not only is HerRyde providing women customers with a more comfortable environment when needing a ride, it is also benefitting drivers on the platform. For three years, Adetutu Patricia Oni has driven for ride-hailing apps. The mother of two says HerRyde improved her workday. Because riders are screened on HerRyde, Oni says she knows what to expect when picking up a customer.
While HerRyde is still in the early stages of the company’s development, they are clearly on the right path as far as ensuring both rider and driver safety. The big two in the rideshare marketplace, Uber and Lyft, should pay attention. While their platforms are slow to roll out safety features, companies such as HerRyde are carving a market out for themselves.
By featuring their safety protocols as a differentiating benefit, smaller companies are able to win a growing share of this highly competitive market. We salute HerRyde and their focus on offering women a safer alternative ride-hailing app.
Until companies such as Lyft and Uber make the changes necessary to better protect their customers from harassment and violence, the team at Estey & Bomberger will continue to fight on the behalf of those who have suffered at the hands of their drivers.