Chariot for Women, the brainchild of former Uber driver Michael Pelletz, will be launched on April 19 across Massachusetts. Pelletz says he felt compelled to launch the company after feeling threatened by one of his passengers, says the Latin Post. Kelly Pelletz, his wife, is serving as president of Chariot for Women.
How Pelletz plans to distinguish his service
Pelletz is trying to distinguish the service from the likes of Uber by guaranteeing female riders the safest ride. He is promising more stringent background checks and more steps to correctly match them with their drivers. Pelletz assures women that the company will not be using surge pricing and will also donate 2% of each fare to charity.
However, Pelletz still has some important work to do to get there. He is already facing many problems, with one of them being talks that his female-only policies might land him in a gender discrimination suit. But Pelletz might have everything planned as he hinted that he may make children under the age of 13, regardless of sex, and trans-women part of his clientele. He looks prepared to defend himself against any legal challenge.
“We want to show there’s inequality in safety in our industry,” he said. “We hope to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to say that if there’s safety involved, there’s nothing wrong with providing a service for women.”
On the company’s website, Pelletz wrote about his motivations for starting Chariots for Women, and one of them was, “What if I was a woman.” He claims that his wife was concerned about safety and once even decided against driving for Uber.
Uber hiring more women drivers
Several women have recently reported instances of rape and other forms of assault by Uber drivers. Just last month, one of its drivers went on a deadly shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan, killing about six innocent people. Authorities allege that even in the middle of his bloody rampage, Brian Dalton continued to pick up fares.
Earlier this month, Uber agreed to pay up to $25 million to the government over allegations that it misled passengers about the depths of the background checks it performs on all its drivers.
Uber officials vowed in 2015 to have 1 million female drivers as part of its staff by 2020. Company officials said that by then, about 19% of all drivers will be women, up by 5% over the previous year. In 2015, with nearly 230,000 women driving their first Uber fare, females were said to account for nearly one-third (29%) of all new-driver signups.