Safr, a US based ride-hailing startup is coming to Pakistan. With the increasing number of ride-hailing services, you might wonder how will this new company be any different? Well, for starters, Safr is an exclusive service for the women and will be provided by the women drivers.
Now before you jump the gun and start rolling your eyes on the fact that they have excluded a complete gender from the service, take a deep breath and try to come back to the real world where women do face several real issues while using taxis or cab-hailing services.
With an Uber for Women kind of service, Safr is empowering women, not just the ones who can now travel without fretting over the creepy guy who keeps looking through the rear-view mirror (this article is not generalizing the hard working drivers but is highlighting some incidents that put many women off), but also women drivers will earn without worrying about the type of passenger or harassment.
Ever since the ride-hailing services have gained momentum across the world, the safety of women, riders and drivers alike, has been called into question. Though many companies are actively working towards eliminating the concerns of women like Careem promoting/hiring women captains, at the end, many female passengers or drivers may feel uncomfortable traveling in a car with a man who’s a complete stranger.
One of the best features of this new service is the SOS button. In case the rider is feeling uncomfortable or threatened, she can press it to let the emergency services or pre-determined contact know her exact location for safety purposes.
Also with Safr riders and drivers will be assigned a color that the two have to verify to ensure that they are riding with the correct person. We would like to mention that this is not the first time such an initiative is presented to this world or Pakistanis as earlier this year we saw Paxi- the Pink Taxi that also more or less offered the same concept.
Safr knows the issue of Pay Gap and thus wants women drivers to earn their fair share through this service.
— GoSafr_Pakistan (@GoSafr_Pakistan) August 28, 2017
With the official tagline of “Join the Sisterhood” the company is recruiting new blood in Pakistan and looking at their social media profile, it seems that they will be starting their operations from Lahore.
Earlier this year, the government started to crack down on ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem to include them in the tax bracket. Recently, Islamabad Transport Authority (ITA) also proposed to regulate the fares of the cab-hailing services. In such times, it would be interesting to know how Safr will deal with these issues in the country.