A female-only Uber called Chariot for Women will launch across all 50 states on April 19.
The new company and application will make its way to compete within the popular realm of companies similar to Uber or Lyft.
A previous Uber driver and Massachusetts resident, Michael Pelletz, alongside his wife, Kelly, developed the idea for Chariot for Women.
The company aims to provide safety for its passengers while only hiring female drivers and allowing female passengers and mothers with children under the age of 13. The company also accepts transgender drivers and passengers.
According to the Chariot for Women website, Pelletz thought of the idea while working as an Uber driver part-time. He dealt with his first unsafe ride, as a passenger incoherently needed a ride home and he struggled to figure out how to take care of the passenger.
At the same time, Pelletz wanted to give his wife the chance to succeed in the industry like he did. According to an article on Forbes, only 19 percent of all Uber drivers are female. The article explains the industry “economically excludes women” so providing an all female driver and passenger experience gives women an equal opportunity to work in the same system.
Pelletz knew he wanted to develop a better method for passengers to arrive safely to their destinations and give women like his wife more opportunities to make money, thus Chariot for Women was born.
Junior biology major Delaney Leathers is unsure how successful Chariot for Women will be but would download the app as an alternative to Uber or Lyft. Leathers thinks the Chariot for Women app is a great idea on a college campus.
“I’ve never used Uber before but would consider using this app instead,” said Leathers. “I think as long as it uses better background checks it sounds well-established.”
The app is a pink logo with the words ‘Chariot for Women’ in white lettering. The app will be free, and when used shows a picture of the driver with their name, car make and license plate number.
Chariot also uses a unique feature; when a person requests a ride, the person and the driver both receive a ‘safe word’ that pops up on the app and the driver and passenger must exchange safe words in order for the ride to begin.
If both of their safe words do not match up then the passenger knows not to get into the vehicle.
Junior American studies major Courtney Deena says it is questionable if an all-female driver company will have success because females do not always travel with solely other females.
“I think that by narrowing down the audience it makes it hard for financial revenue but it’s a great idea,” said Deena. “Being a female, when you leave somewhere at night and I’ve had a few drinks I would feel safer with a female driver than a male driver at that time.”
This app provides a much safer alternative to Uber, which has become questionable since the Michigan shooting revealed a lack of background checks for Uber drivers, according to the Washington Post.
As the app unveils Tuesday, there is doubt whether or not the app can sustain economically. But, the app also may rise to be competitive with Uber and Lyft taking away female passengers from those other companies.