I’ve always been a little weirded out by Uber. After a story on my local news about an Uber driver taking a passenger on a wild — and unwanted — ride into Virginia to get away from the DC cops, I felt like maybe Uber wasn’t the service for me. I know lots of people use it without incident, but I dunno. It’s just not my thing.
I may rethink my feelings on ride-share with the launch of a new company called Chariot for Women. According to the company website, founder Michael Pelletz was an Uber driver in Boston. He had suggested his wife try driving as well, but she said it made her too nervous. One night, Pelletz had an unsettling experience with a passenger. A drunk, incoherent man got in his car and kept drifting in and out of consciousness while muttering and fumbling in his pockets. Alarmed, Pelletz pulled over when he saw a cop and got assistance. But he had a thought: what if I had been a woman? He remembered what his wife said about being afraid to be a driver and realized that there had to be another way for women to use ride-share services without feeling that their safety could be compromised at any time.
That’s how Chariot for Women was created. Pelletz and his wife have developed a ride share service for women only, with only background-checked women doing the driving. Like Uber, you’ll use an app to call for a ride, then you’ll get images of the car and license plate. As an added layer of security, you’ll receive a safe word. If the driver can’t tell you the safe word, you know not to get in the car.
To add yet another element to all this awesomeness, Kelly Pelletz, Michael’s wife and the President of Chariot for Women, decided the company should give 2% of every fare to charity. Users will get a pop-up menu listing 10 different women-focused charities to choose from.
Forget becoming a customer — I want to become Kelly and Michael’s best friend!
Chariot for Women will launch April 19, nationwide.