New rideshare service bets women are ready to leave Uber's sleazy, rape-friendly service


#1

[Read the post]


#2

A common carrier that refuses service to men won’t survive a well-aimed discrimination suit.


#4

What makes it a “common carrier” vs. a “contract carrier”?


#5

Sounds like this has been tried before - looks like they were/are(?) planning to get around the issues about not hiring men by (a la Uber) not having any actual employees. Not sure about the providing service part.


#6

There are lots of gender-specific services operating in the US today. A man can’t join Curves Gym, for example.


#7

Maybe this doesn’t hinge on “common carrier” – I wasn’t using the term right, but it’s strange to build a business on something where the core of the business is dependent on some completely binary legal decision to be rendered several years from now. Uber, et al., will certainly be looking for plaintiffs if it gets any traction at all.

Mind you, I think a business should be able to do precisely this, but I really doubt federal and state laws support it.


#8

If the ride share company were considered a private club, perhaps? Gyms seem to manage it under some kind of expectation of privacy ruling. Or if this company partnered with someone like Uber to ensure that men were automatically redirected to an equivalent service?

But yeah, it would have to run under the hope that it would survive the legal decision coming down the road. Don’t/didn’t all ‘disruptive’ companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Napster, Aereo etc. do so too though?


#9

I’m gonna go look at this. You are certainly right there, but these seem different in kind.

Per Daneel: ( I have no idea how to double quote):
"If the ride share company were considered a private club, perhaps? Or if this company partnered with someone like Uber to ensure that men were automatically redirected to an equivalent service?

But yeah, it would have to run under the hope that it would survive the legal decision coming down the road. Don’t/didn’t all ‘disruptive’ companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Napster, Aereo etc. do so too though?"

As I said, I’m missing something here – I think Uber was just saying that it could use contract employees (okay) and that it didn’t need a taxi license (there were certainly conveyances that didn’t need taxi licenses – car services operate differently) – so I think they had a bit more support. Airbnb was operating from a place that “hey, no one says we can’t do this” – and this strikes me as a trick. Again, if it’s fine, great, but a “I’m only going to take fares from men, because they’re more likely to tip better” (or whatever) would be on rocky ground.


#10

Hooters has survived a number of class-action lawsuits over their policy of hiring exclusively female wait staff for the purpose of titillating their male customers.

If a restaurant can get away with that, then I see no reason this company shouldn’t be able to defend the practice of having exclusively female drivers for the safety and comfort of their female customers.


#11

Plus, if Uber really tried to sue this company out of existence that would be terrible for their (admittedly already terrible) reputation.


#12

Brilliant! Can’t wait to learn more.

Every rape crisis line and intimate partner violence shelter in the country has an interest in how this service rolls out.

There’s unmet need for transportation, primarily for women and girls, in emergency situations. Uber is too risky to receive the referrals.


#13

As a Lyft/Uber driver, I would LOVE to have only women passengers and avoid the obnoxious, high, aggressive frat boy assholes I sometimes have to drive around. Unfortunately I’m male and therefore automatically dangerous and evil. Maybe my sister can sign up with them, at least.

EDIT: To be clear, I’m mostly joking with the “male therefore evil” part. Just a little envious of the women who don’t have to drive around men.


#14

This seems like a great idea, but it doesn’t solve the non-gendered violence like duchebros slamming their Uber drivers heads into windows. Also, often times when words like male and female are used instead of man and woman, it’s a signal that transpeople have either not been considered or been considered and dismissed as an inconvenient truth. It’s excellent that Chariot is trying something to make it safer for women drivers. Hopefully they won’t do what so many organizations and activists before them have done and throw transpeople under the bus because of not wanting to come up with a policy that respects their rights. Hopefully Chariot will not succumb to the same transphobia that we’ve seen in bathroom use laws where transpeople are seen as perverts and predators instead of what they are, a marginalized minority at an increase risk of becoming the victims of sexual violence for what they are.


#15

Please stop. No one said that. Would I be saying that “all male doctors are dangerous and evil” if I said I preferred a doctor who was a woman for my GP? Not at all.


#16

Public accommodation.

Taxi companies are required to offer service to disabled passengers. Uber doesn’t, based on the idea that Uber is just an app, not a taxi service. I imagine this new company is hoping to play the same semantic trick.


#17

I don’t know if Uber would have standing to sue. If anything a lawsuit would probably have to be a class action claim by men who feel they were unfairly denied employment, like in the various lawsuits against Hooters.


#18

Seeing as how the service was invented by a guy, I’m not being really serious about that. I am kind of perplexed that he had a terrible experience driving for Uber and decided to solve the problem for women and do nothing for himself or other male drivers, though.


#19

That’s some laconic cognitive dissonance right there. You don’t want male passengers because they’re aggressive, but you resent that women who don’t know you must be more on guard around you as a man.


#20

Companies can always find individuals willing to sue on behalf of the company. Uber might not have standing, but any actual employee of Uber, or a friendly Uber driver, would.


#21

The difference is that I’m an employee of a service and not some random drunk guy. I’ve been vetted. Of course, given how easy it is to sign up for one of these services and how many bad Uber drivers have been in the news, I fully admit that this isn’t a really rational argument. I’m just green with envy, plain and simple.