12 Sep 2014 03:29 PM EST
-by Yuliya Geikhman, Staff Writer; Image: SheRides cars may not be hot pink like this taxi, but the female drivers will wear pink scarves for identification. (Image Source: CEFICEFI via Wikimedia Commons)
Yellow cabs are a regular site in Manhattan, and the puke-green “Boro Taxis” are becoming more commonplace in the rest of the city. But soon another color will join the transportation palette: hot pink.
Starting September 16, female drivers sporting pink pashmina scarves will be joining the taxi world through a service called SheTaxi, or SheRides in NYC. Created by Stella Mateo, SheRides is aimed towards providing female passengers with a safe mode of transportation, free from harassment, leering, or inappropriate remarks or behavior.
Mateo also hopes to help women enter the largely male-dominated field through a safe and comfortable entry point. Currently, only about one percent of yellow cab drivers are female.
Anyone wishing to hail one of SheRides’ 50 female drivers will be able to do so through an app. Drivers will be wearing the pink scarf so passengers can recognize them. The service requires that at least one passenger is female—male groups or lone males attempting to hail a ride on SheRides will be automatically redirected to a different taxi company.
Unlike recent strained relations with taxi startups like Lyft and Uber, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission gave SheRides a nod.
TLC’s chairwoman Meera Joshi stated: “As with so many service industries, the for-hire vehicle industry continues to get more and more specialized in terms of the products and services it offers.”
The idea for SheRides has been receiving mostly positive feedback from women around the city. Some mention that they are often nervous about getting picked up by strangers in a car at late hours. Having a woman behind the wheel may ease the fears they have.
Stella Mateo is the wife of the NYS Federation of Taxi Drivers founder, Fernando Mateo. The Federation of Taxi Drivers currently has 30,000 drivers, and the Mateo family note that they’ve always used female drivers for their own two daughters.Comments
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