NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The so-called SheTaxis have hit a bump in the road.
As 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported, there has been so much interest in SheRides from women who want female cabbies that the company is holding off for now on launching the app in New York City.
SheRides spokeswoman Tamika Mallory said that’s because they only have 100 female cab drivers ready to go.
“We need at least 500 drivers in order for us to be able to come into the market and release our app to the public,” Mallory said.
Dinorah De Cruz is one of the drivers on board. She said she loves the app, which has a built-in payment system in order to avoid carrying cash.
“We’re not going to carry money at all,” she said. “And we’re going to be very safe because for you to get in my car they’re going to have your picture in the app. You’re going to see my face, and I’m going to see who I’m picking up, too.”
The company is still launching its website and opening up offices in Long Island City and Mamaroneck to recruit drivers, Rincon reported.
Fewer than 3 percent of the city’s 115,000 licensed taxi, livery and limousine drivers are women, and that can be a problem for women who are reluctant to get into a cab alone with a male driver because of safety concerns or religious and social mores.
New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers spokesman Fernando Mateo called it a civil rights issue, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
“We are telling women that are sitting home that fear coming into this industry — come on in,” Mateo said.
Taxi and Limousine Commission regulations say for-hire car services are prohibited from refusing customers. The app’s creator, Stella Mateo — Fernando Mateo’s wife — said female drivers registered with her app are free to pick up anyone they want; the app merely helps women who are looking for female drivers.
SheTaxi, called SheRides in New York City, has been two years in the making. It will be available for the iPhone initially, and an Android version is in the works. There also are plans to expand to other cities.
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