Taxi app which focuses on women’s safety launched in Cardiff

The company is working with schools and universities across South Wales

A new taxi app, RideSafe has been launched in Cardiff which is “designed around the safety of women”.

Ben Cole-Edwards, founder and CEO of RideSafe created the app after his mother and aunt thought about developing the idea around two decades ago. However, as people had been taken to court in the past for discrimination, the idea was left to one side until last year.

Now, Ben says he has avoided being called out for discrimination by creating a feature that allows the rider to choose between male or female drivers.

The app was launched on the 9th December in Cardiff and on the 14th December in Bridgend County. Furthermore, he has been given the green light to operate RideSafe in Los Angeles.

Ben explained that he consulted with women about their experiences regarding safety in taxis and he said: “Every woman I spoke to had a bad experience with a taxi driver. And if you Google ‘attacks on women in taxis’ unfortunately you’re inundated with results – and they’re just the ones that have gone to the press.”

He continued by saying that he had spoken to a woman that had avoided taxis for 20 years due to an incident where a driver allegedly threw her from his taxi when she did not do as he said. She told Ben that she also avoided drinking on a night out so that she could always be the designated driver to make sure her friends were safe.

The app has many safety features which include male and female driver/passenger choice, driver/passenger reviews, photos of the driver and car, real-time tracking, one-time password to confirm driver/passenger, and SOS integration.

Ben further notes that drivers cannot tell if you have a preferred gender: “If there is a woman passenger looking for a woman driver, a male driver can’t see that he’s been discriminated against, because it doesn’t show up that it’s a woman looking for a woman. He’s just going to see that there are no passengers available.” Drivers may also choose the gender of their passengers.

Regarding the SOS integration button on the app, users may add an emergency contact who the app will call if the button is pressed.

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