Rave: Ladies, start your Chariots

Tara O'Neill

[media-credit name=”Screenshot courtesy of chariotforwomen.com” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]chariot • chariotforwomendotcom[/media-credit]

With the university lifting the ban on Uber earlier this academic year, many students will, at some point, open their Uber app and get in a stranger’s car–alone or with friends.

According to a BuzzFeed article, screenshots from comments on the Uber database mentioned rape 5,827 times and sexual assault 6,160 times.

However, Uber said they received only five claims of rape and fewer than 170 claims of sexual assault from December 2012 to August 2015.

Now, this isn’t to say women should fear taking an Uber or that women aren’t smart enough or strong enough to protect and defend themselves, but Michael Pelletz, founder of Chariot for Women, recognized that there needs to be an alternative, for women specifically.

Chariot for Women is a company similar to Uber, but all the drivers are women who have been thoroughly background checked. And, before you get in the car, you have to ask the driver for the “safe word” you provided to definitively confirm the ride–beyond just having the car’s make, model and license plate information.

This will definitely be a game changer for Uber in the future. Women, especially if they’re coming home after a night out in New Haven, are nervous about getting into a stranger’s car through Uber because of how hard it is to know whether the ride is safe. However, with Chariot’s safety precautions, getting into a stranger’s car is a lot less scary and more women will likely turn to Chariot over all other methods of transportation.

If you ladies need any more incentive to check out Chariot: 2 percent of every fare is donated to a woman-based charity. Stay safe, ladies. –T. O’Neill