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Women + Connect – What Does This Mean for both Lyft Drivers and Passengers.

The rideshare service Lyft has created a plan in order to ensure a safer alternative for both drivers and passengers. How are they going to do this? Let’s dive into it. 
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Nathaniel Seaman
Ridesharing can be a stressful experience for some.

The rideshare service Lyft has created a plan in order to ensure a safer alternative for both drivers and passengers. 

With a large spike in the number of lawsuits in the past few years against Lyft comes the birth of their new safety feature: Women + Connect. This feature will match more women and nonbinary drivers to women and nonbinary passengers and give them an opportunity to select their driver and/or passengers, so that they feel more safe and comfortable. The downside? This is not a guarantee. Although there is an increased chance of pairing with their preferred pair, there is still a possibility that customers may be with someone they didn’t choose and don’t feel comfortable with. 

Among B-CC students, belief and trust in this new feature is evident. Junior Lois Proeller, (they/she), who identifies as nonbinary, expresses their thoughts as well as their general opinion towards the change this will bring. They shared, “In a male dominated workforce, women and nonbinary drivers having more opportunities to be able to pick up people and take them where they want to go, and doing that while keeping people safe is a really good thing.” These drivers will be given a chance to earn more. “I think the biggest difference it will make is allowing more economic opportunities for trans people and for cisgender females as well. I have never seen an uber driver or a Lyft driver who was female, nonbinary, or fem presenting. I’ve never experienced that, and I think it would really allow for people to feel a lot safer. Especially those who have a history of being assaulted, being abused or just feeling really uncomfortable around men, which most of us are at this point.”  

Zaina Mobarak, (she/her), another junior at B-CC shared her experiences using the rideshare app. “I’ve gone in Lyfts multiple times,” Mobarak explained, “And most of the time, I do feel pretty comfortable in them. But there have been times where the person just gives me a weird, off vibe and I feel uneasy and awkward.” The experience of being alone with another person and feeling precisely this way is common, and Lyft’s new efforts are targeting this reality. “I think we will see that more people will start using Lyft. For me with this new change, I would feel pretty safe. Being given the option to attempt to choose who I want to be driven by would make me feel more comfortable, and I am sure others are going to feel the exact same way.” 

Like Proeller, Mobarak expressed how she rarely gets a Lyft driver who isn’t a man. “Most of the time, I end up with a male driver. It is so rare for me to get anyone who is not, and this feature is going to make a huge difference. I’d love to see nonbinary and women drivers getting more opportunities,” Mobarak shared.  

This new feature allows for an increase in economic opportunities for women, as well as increasing safety and comfortability in rides, which gives rise to more hope among people that this effort could potentially improve the overall rideshare experience. The feature is now available in only a few cities. These cities include Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, as well as San Jose, and more, hopefully the DMV, coming soon. 

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About the Contributor
Nathaniel Seaman, Section Director
Nat is a B-CC senior and is reprising his role as section director of art and photography for the second year in a row. In his free time, Nat enjoys boxing, reading and photography.

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