It's about time for a ride-sharing app that makes women feel safer about getting into a car with a stranger, and Safr is poised to become this app. Launched last month, it's positioning itself as the more female-friendly, safety-conscious alternative to other services. With all the controversy surrounding Uber lately, riders seem to be welcoming another strong option on the market.
"There is obviously a need for another option for women in ride-sharing," Joanna Humphrey Flynn, a PR and marketing manager for Safr, told Curbed. "The current environment doesn’t really allow women to fully participate. Safety concerns create roadblocks, and make it harder for women to ride and drive at night."
One way Safr differentiates itself from the others is by being more thorough with driver training and recruitment, said Humphrey Flynn. For new drivers, there's an extensive background check, an in-person meeting, and an hourlong driving session with Safr staff. Drivers also undergo safety training before going out on their own. The company's goal, says Humphrey Flynn, is to hire more women drivers and help them make more money.
Another feature that will make you breathe a little easier while driving down a dark road at 3 a.m. with someone you don't know? As a passenger, you're able to choose which gender you feel most comfortable riding with via the app, and drivers are able to do the same. You can also dial 911 through the app, call Safr's 24-hour command center, or send a text to a pre-assigned contact. To avoid any mixups, you'll get a color-coded message before your pickup to help you and your driver correctly identify each other.
Safr is already growing, with more than 100 drivers onboard — currently all women (plus, about 1,000 waiting to pass security checks). While it's currently focusing on the Boston area, Humphrey Flynn says it's looking at expanding to California and Washington, D.C., soon.
The service does cost a bit more than Uber, with the average ride about 10% more than UberX. But for many riders, the assurance of safety is priceless.