LYFT has introduced a new feature that can connect female passengers with female drivers for a more comfortable experience.
The tech company announced the change after an alarming number of women reported that they would prefer a female driver.
In 2020, about 23 percent of women surveyed reported unpleasant driving behavior to Uber, while 15 percent did the same to Lyft, according to a published study Alarm.org found.
The report also states that 45 percent of women surveyed preferred a female driver, while only nine percent preferred men.
To address these issues, Lyft launched Women+ Connect, which allows female and non-binary users to be matched more frequently with female and non-binary drivers.
According to a press release, the brand noted that the feature is just a preference and drivers can still choose a male driver when there are no women around.
“Women+ Connect is about empowering more women and non-binary people to earn money on their terms and giving drivers more choice,” said Lyft CEO David Risher.
“We hope this gives millions of drivers and riders another reason to choose Lyft.”
It is launching in the early access cities of Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
When Women+ Connect launches, female drivers will receive a notification informing them of the program and giving them the opportunity to click Join or No Thanks.
Your answer can be changed at any time in your driver settings.
Drivers have the opportunity to answer the question and set their preferences accordingly.
Despite the added feature, male drivers will still be paired with female and non-binary drivers when they are the only obvious option.
Lyft recorded more than 4,000 sexual assault lawsuits between 2017 and 2019, making increased safety a priority, according to a report.
Its competitor Uber recorded similar figures in the same period.
Of Lyft’s numbers, about 360 were reports of rape.
“We recognize that sexual assault is chronically under-reported and it can sometimes take months or years before a survivor is willing to come forward and report what happened – if they decide to do so at all,” Das said company back then.
“Knowing this, Lyft considered all incidents reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019, regardless of when the incident was reported.”
The safety issue also affected drivers who reported feeling unsafe on busier nights.
“Female drivers like the flexibility that (Lyft) offers in terms of earnings, but there are times, you know, late at night or Saturday night when things get a little loud that they think, gosh, I just don’t always have it “feel comfortable,” said Chief Executive Officer David Risher Bloomberg.
The US Sun has reached out to Lyft for comment.