Chariot for Women, a new ride sharing app for women only, launches in the Boston area on April 19.
Former Uber driver Michael Pelletz created the service for women to feel safer using ride shares. Drivers must be women and undergo a rigorous background check. Passengers must be women or children of any gender under 13.
In an interview with Tech Crunch, Pelletz says trans women are also welcome to use the app either as a customer or to work for the company.
“If [passengers are] trans and identify as a woman, they can drive and ride with us, no problem at all,” Pelletz told Tech Crunch.
“We believe that giving women and their loved ones peace of mind is not only a public policy imperative but serves an essential social interest,” Pelletz says. “Our service is intended to protect these fundamental liberties, and we look forward to ending the inequality of security that currently afflicts drivers and riders on the basis of gender.”
Women’s safety when using Uber has been called into question. BuzzFeed obtained numerous screenshots in March of Uber customer rape and sexual assault complaints.
“We’re doing this because there is such inequality when it comes to security that afflicts driver and rider due to gender,” Pelletz continued. “Women are across the world the ones being harassed and assaulted by male drivers. In my eight months as an Uber driver, I didn’t hear any negative feedback from men.”
Discrimination could also be considered a legal problem for Chariot for Women, but Pelletz told Tech Crunch they are prepared.
“We look forward to legal challenges. We want to show there’s inequality in safety in our industry. We hope to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to say that if there’s safety involved, there’s nothing wrong with providing a service for women,” Pelletz says.