A ridesharing-service app for women drivers and passengers launched recently in southern California. See Jane Go has started operating in Orange County, California but plans aggressive nationwide expansion, according to Tech Crunch.
The demand for women-centric ridesharing is highlighted in informal surveys. As Tech Crunch noted, “…I found that women are uncomfortable as both drivers and riders using the bigger ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. The idea of picking up or riding with a random guy seems less than safe to a lot of women.”
A Digital Trends writer wrote, “I put the question to social media and, to my surprise, got a unanimous response: yes, if there were a women-only ridesharing service, every woman who answered my question would use it.”
According to See Jane Go CEO Kimberly Toonen, the company is addressing gender identity, as long as the driver applicants identify as women.
“All drivers submit an application with their driver’s license, and we use that to validate gender. Whatever they’ve self-identified as there” is good enough, Toonen said.
If men are with women who hail See Jane Go rides, the men can ride as long as the women riders “vouch for him and are responsible that he maintains the Jane Code of Conduct (details coming soon),” as per the website FAQ.
The FAQ also covers men who hail a ride. “It is unlawful for us to refuse service to a man, and Jane doesn’t want to do jail time because horizontal stripes are not flattering.” If a man uses the See Jane Go app to hail a ride, he will not be refused but Jane will immediately arrange a ride for him from another service and he will pay Jane pricing.
The issue of men who might want to drive for See Jane Go was not addressed.
Jane riders will be able to mark drivers as favorites in the company app. Subsequently, an algorithm will attempt to pair favorites on future rides. One of the company’s goals is to encourage networking among women who use the service. “We’re trying to encourage a back-and-forth — sharing resources, networking, and advice,” Toonen said.
A portion of all Jane trip charges will be allocated to one of six charities. Most of the other details about how See Jane Go works are similar to other ride-hailing companies, including boosted pricing during high-demand periods. The company is also working on plans to help aspiring drivers who do not own suitable vehicles secure cars to use as drivers.
Another ridesharing service for women drivers, SafeHer, is scheduled to launch this fall in Boston, following with launches in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City. SafeHer was previously called Chariot for Women. As Chariot, the company expected to start in April, but due to “extremely high demand” decided to delay the initial launch, according to SherpaShareBlog.
SafeHer founder Michael Pelletz addressed the question of male drivers and passengers, neither of which will be allowed in SafeHer rides except for male children 13 years old and younger as riders. In an interview with The Denver Channel, when asked about sexism and discriminatory policies, Pelletz said safety is the goal. “We’ve counseled with a lot of civil rights attorneys and constitutional law[yers], and not one has said this is illegal,” Pelletz said.