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Girls & Women

All-Female Ride-Sharing Service Hits the Road Today in Toronto

Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have new competition in Toronto as women-only DriveHER hits the road today.

Aisha Addo created DriveHER after an uncomfortable ride home in a cab — a problem too many women have experienced.   

"He was asking me if I lived alone, and for me that was a bit triggering, because I happened to," Addo told CBC. "Then he started asking if I had a boyfriend, and then [there] just started to be some really weird sexual innuendos. I became a bit guarded."

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She spent the rest of the ride on the phone with a friend.

After that incident and while sometimes driving as a designated driver for her friends, Addo came up with the idea for the female-only ride-sharing app.

It took almost two years, but DriveHER is finally here. It is a ride-sharing app exclusively run and used by women. You have to identify as a woman to be a driver or get a ride.

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"There's so many ride-sharing services, let's not get that wrong, and that's amazing, but then there was never really any option for women and people that identify as women," Addo said. "What DriveHER is, is providing an option and creating an equitable space where women and people who identify as women have that option."

Addo said that reports of assault and harassment in cabs demonstrated the need for the service.

DriveHER runs thorough background checks for prospective drivers.

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"People need to calm down and look at this from not only a safety perspective and an empowering perspective but then also an empathetic perspective," she told CBC, in response to early criticism. "Instead of complaining about it, have conversations about it. Be an ally. Stand in solidarity with the women in your lives and really try to understand where we're coming from."

On top of a safe alternative for women, DriveHER provides an opportunity for economic empowerment for women, Addo told CBC.

It provides another option for female drivers to make money — they can drive through whatever service they choose.

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As of today, DriveHER has over 100 women-identified drivers registers.

"We do hope that every woman will use our platform, but it's okay if some of them want to use other services," she told Toronto Metro earlier this week. "There's no segregation. I just want women to feel safe when they are on a ride."

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