A new ride-hail app for women and children only, with women drivers, will be launching in Cape Town before the end of the year to counter the increasingly dangerous and violent environment in the taxi industry and on the streets. Photo: Pixabay

CAPE TOWN – A new ride-hail app for women and children only, with women drivers, will be launching in Cape Town before the end of the year to counter the increasingly dangerous and violent environment in the taxi industry and on the streets.

Founder Daniella Wright said the service, ChaufHer,  plans to expand to Johannesburg and Durban in 2020.

The mother of three-year old twins, and former bank employee for 12 years, said the ride-hail service had been two years in the making. She realised the need for the service when she had children, and wanted to feel safer when using ride-hail services.

“Many women are scared to climb into a vehicle with a strange male during the day, and I won’t do it at night. I also wouldn’t feel comfortable letting my children do it at night either,” she said.

In Cape Town, ChaufHer will be competing with the likes of Uber and Bolt. “We are offering a completely different, premium service at very competitive rates,” she said.

A  number of women drivers had already signed up, some from other ride-hail services because they were uncomfortable about picking up male passengers at night that were drunk and sometimes abusive.

Their app, which will soon be available on the App Store and Play Store, connects women drivers with women passengers, and children younger than 18 years. “We are in the final stages of testing the app,” Wright said.

Not only does the App provide a safe way to earn money, it also provides the freedom of movement to women concerned about the growing danger and violence that has infiltrated the taxi industry, said Wright. 

It will be a great empowerment vehicle for women to earn money in a safe environment, particularly for mothers with children at home, who would be able to work around their children’s timetables, she said.

A number of schools had also expressed interest in the service, because many working parents were using ride-hail services to take their children to school. 

“There is a lot in the pipeline that we are working on. Women and children are the most vulnerable members of society, but they also represent our greatest untapped resource. ChaufHer is a way for us to provide opportunities and freedom of movement to these groups, to help them live their best lives,” she said. 

From a consumer perspective ChaufHer’s benefits are simple. 

Women are able to utilise ride-hail services to get where they need to go, whether it is for business, social events or running errands. 

Wright said female drivers were grossly under-represented in the ride-hail industry, and one of the primary barriers to entry were concerns around their safety and security. 

The ChaufHer service is built around safety, with many added features to help create peace of mind. For instance, vehicles would be fitted with booster seats for toddlers.

These include a panic button, One Time Pin (OTP) and driver training. 

“However, the biggest safety measure is the comprehensive vetting of both drivers and passengers to make sure the service is safer for both,” she said.

BUSINESS REPORT