Ride-hailing services have flourished in the last few years with revenues amounting to US $18,405m in 2019, and the user penetration rate is expected to hit 18.1% by 2023. However, there’s a need to ponder if these statistics stand equally true for both men and women.
Women embrace these ride-hailing services both as riders and drivers, but they face more hurdles than men both in terms of workforce participation and usage. A survey shows that nearly 45 % of women riders prefer women drivers, however, only14% of U.S. Uber drivers and 30% of Sidecar drivers are women. This low ratio is a clear reflection of the risks involved like women driving alone and picking up strangers- usually at night or women taking rides late night with male drivers.
Given the backdrop, ride-sharing app companies like Shebah and DriveHer launched their taxi booking apps popularly termed as Uber for Women Only. Shebah was launched in 2017 in Australia with women drivers catering only to the women riders. Similarly, DriveHer was launched in 2017 in New Zealand bearing the same concept. These apps successfully tapped into the demand for a more safe and affordable means of transport for women, by women.
For new taxi booking apps entering the market, integrating the following must-have features will add to the robustness of the app.
4 Must-Have Features for Women Only Taxi-Booking Apps:
- Real-time tracking: Integrating GPS in the taxi app offers a level of comfort to the riders as well as drivers as they know they are likely to be tracked down in case something goes wrong. In addition, there should be a provision to be able to share the taxi route and driver information with family and friends via the app.
- Advance Booking and Carpool: Advance booking, as per the preferred date, time and convenience of the women rider, can offer a safety net to women who usually wait on the road for the taxi to arrive. Similarly, offering the carpool service provides an enhanced sense of security, especially for long-distance travel.
- SOS Contacts: The SOS contacts feature will allow women users to add emergency contact numbers under this section, including friends and family. These contacts will get instant taxi information with driver details, taxi location, and taxi number as soon as a woman passenger activates SOS functionality.
- Panic Button: It would be a great idea to introduce a Bluetooth-enabled panic button for drivers, and a feature for riders that can connect them directly with the local law enforcement agencies allowing women to share in-app information in case of an emergency. For this, the taxi services can partner with these agencies.
These features, when incorporated in a taxi-ride app, can attract more women on account of safety, comfort, and convenience. So, if you are planning to make an app like Uber for women, consider the needs of both women riders and drivers or simply contact an app development firm that can bring your ideas to fruition.
To sum up, ride-sharing app companies like Shebah and DriveHer identified the specific needs of women riders and drivers and started offering a safe and affordable means of transport to women by women through their apps. If you’re a new player entering the segment, you should consider incorporating real-time GPS tracking, advance booking, panic button and SOS contact features in your app for the safety and comfort of women riders and drivers.