Lyft’s New Feature Offers Gender Choice for Riders
Lyft is launching a new initiative to address rider safety and gender representation among its drivers. The feature “Women+ Connect” allows women and non-binary riders to specify a preference for drivers who identify as the same gender. In a recent announcement, Lyft indicated that this was a “highly requested feature” to bolster rider confidence and potentially attract more women to take advantage of the platform’s “flexible earning opportunities” as drivers.
How the Women + Connect Feature Works
The “Women+ Connect” feature will be accessible through the Lyft app and is set to roll out in the coming months. However, Lyft cautions that this preference is not a guarantee; matching will depend on the availability of drivers who meet the criteria and are near. If no matches fitting the criteria are available, drivers using this feature will still be paired with male riders.
How to Use the Feature
To utilize this feature, riders and drivers must opt-in, and riders must indicate their gender for the function to work correctly. Lyft developed this feature with outside organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).
As the feature becomes operational in a city, a ‘Count me in’ prompt will appear in the Lyft apps for women and non-binary riders. This option improves their likelihood of being matched with drivers of the same gender identity. Drivers will see a similar opt-in feature. Preferences can be updated or deactivated at any time via the app settings.
The feature will first be available in these five U.S. cities:
- San Jose
- San Francisco
- San Diego
Customer experience in these cities will be closely monitored before expanding the feature to additional locations.
Addressing the Shortage of Women Drivers
According to company data, women make up nearly half of Lyft’s riders but only 23% of its drivers. Lyft has faced ongoing scrutiny over rider safety, particularly following a 2021 disclosure that revealed the company received 4,158 reports of sexual assault between 2017 and 2019. Despite this, Lyft maintains that 99% of its rides during that period were free from reported safety incidents.
Lyft settled a $25 million lawsuit with shareholders last year concerning disclosures about its business, including safety and assault-related matters, before its 2019 initial public offering. In a collaborative effort to improve rider safety, both Lyft and its competitor Uber announced in March 2021 that they would share information on drivers deactivated due to severe safety incidents, including sexual assaults.
The Importance of Rider Safety
Rider safety is a huge concern for all, but it is significant for women and non-binary individuals who may face unique vulnerabilities when using ride-sharing services. While ride-sharing platforms offer convenience and flexibility, they also present personal safety and comfort challenges, particularly during solo rides or at night. Features like Lyft’s Women+ Connect aim to address this gap by empowering these riders to choose drivers with whom they may feel more secure. Such initiatives not only improve the overall safety of the ride-sharing experience but also help build trust in the platform, making it more accessible and appealing to a broader spectrum of users.
The following YouTube video explores Lyft’s newly introduced Women+ Connect feature.
Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a Lyft or Uber accident, either as a driver or a passenger, you don’t have to navigate the complicated process of filing a compensation claim alone. With our specialized focus on rideshare accidents, our Sacramento-based personal injury law firm is uniquely equipped to help you secure a fair verdict or settlement. Since 1982, we’ve been committed to representing the interests of injured individuals, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. Don’t hesitate to ask for free, friendly advice to guide you through your legal journey. Call us today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
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