WASHINGTON. A 2018 poll showed nearly a quarter of female rideshare passengers lodged formal complaints towards drivers for uncomfortable behavior. Those complaints include issues with male passengers who make female drivers uncomfortable or feel threatened. Worse, negative stats don’t even include women who never felt secure with rideshare companies but did not complain. Enter the Australian based female ride share service, Shebah. Shebah is an all-women network of drivers and passengers created to ensure passenger safety and enhanced satisfaction.
Female based rideshare services, the solution?
The global rideshare services market is now a $100+ billion-dollar industry expected to grow to nearly $300 billion by the year 2030. This industry continues to experience exponent growth. However, with this rate of growth, the industry finds itself encountering pitfalls. As just noted, one glaring issue involves the negative female passenger experience in the industry. Up to now, the solution to this problem seemed to elude the current players.
Which is where Shebah fits in.
Not only does Shebah employ female-only drivers. The company conducts rigorous background checks of potential drivers. In addition, they train their drivers to deal with incidents and issues that could arise in the course of the day. Issues such as safe child transportation. Here’s how Shebah presents this key feature on its website.
“Women’s safety is paramount to our reason for being. We conduct rigorous safety and background checks and drivers are trained to deal with any and all incidents and issues. Whether you’re riding or driving in a Shebah, you can be assured of less stress and more peace of mind – always.”
In addition, Shebah touts an additional, more general benefit for its female employees and customers.
“We’re a proud network of incredible women determined to make a difference every day. You will not be riding with or driving for a faceless, corporate entity – after all, our CEO is still a Shebah driver! Joining up means you’ll be part of a movement to empower women everywhere.”
Here’s a Shebah video offering a testimonial for the service.
But does this mean that Shebah remains the only rideshare service on the planet that caters strictly to women only? Well, that narrow exclusivity is not entirely the case. Shebah also facilitates the transportation of children, including males under the age of 18 years.
It is illegal for a child to use rideshare services without a guardian present. The Shebah solution is certifying every driver with a Working With Children check. The Children Check certification means safe and legal child transport, along with some cars that are even fitted with child and safety seats.
The inclusiveness also applies to “fur babies.” I.e., pets like dogs and cats.
No men allowed?
Shebah extends their services to those living their lives as women as well, also including non-binary individuals, as their web site clearly notes.
“We use an inclusive definition of ‘women’ meaning we welcome trans, genderqueer women and non-binary people who are significantly femme-identified. We are a rideshare for the vulnerable that puts safety and comfort first.”
With Shebah, a man can travel with an adult female and baby or child in need of a baby seat. The stipulation is that the man rides in back, with the women in shotgun position!
So, why hasn’t this niche service been incorporated in the U.S.? Some small female-driven ride-shares do exist in the US. But at the moment, they operate on a tiny scale. Perhaps the concept remains too new to succeed here. (Where are the Ridesharing Companies for Women?)
Studies conducted in other countries, particularly in China and India, that implement “women only” public transportation, note some successes. (China’s Women-Only Subway Cars, Where Men Rush In). Women-only train cars have also been mandated in order to address rampant sexual harassment on the rails.
The women-only rideshare concept is not a slam dunk.
Not all women are on board with the all-female rideshare idea. Some say they simply do not like it. Others worry that such gender exclusiveness could lead to a variety of discrimination charges.
Perhaps at this point the Shebah concept has not been fine-tuned enough for successul adaptation as a successful rideshare concept in America..
In addition, U.S. women may prefer to safely use the same rideshare services as men, rather than waiting to find a women-only solution.
On the other hand, given an increase in troubling and fatal incidents occurring via rideshare services here and elsewhere, it seems that a “Shebah-esque” concept could still lurk just around the corner in the vast U.S. transportation business.
At least we can hope.
— Headline image: Screen capture from Shebah rideshare testimonial. (Complete video above.)
The founder of Omkara World, Adam Omkara is a mind/body health coach and spiritual advisor to some of the most influential people in the country, including Celebrities • Politicians • Award-Winning Scientists • Professional Athletes and Sports Teams Owners • Billboard Musicians • Bollywood Stars • Ironman Champions • and a Former Miss Olympia.