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Lyft launches safety feature to connect women, nonbinary drivers, riders

(Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft)

(WISH) — Lyft, the transportation company founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer, is introducing a highly requested feature known as “Women+ Connect.” This new feature has been designed to empower women and nonbinary drivers by allowing them to match with more women and nonbinary riders when selecting a ride.

Women constitute half of Lyft’s ridership, but the company reports that only 23% of its drivers are women. This change also offers women drivers increased flexibility in earning potential, as they can receive more ride requests.

Riders can easily modify their gender preferences within the Lyft app. Additionally, the app will include a prompt called “Count me in,” which will directly guide users to the preference settings. It’s important to note that selecting this preference does not guarantee a female driver but significantly enhances the likelihood. Riders and drivers providing false information can be reported and may face account suspension or deactivation.

Typically, Lyft matches drivers and riders based on factors such as the distance between their locations and the expected benefits and costs for all parties involved—drivers, riders, and Lyft itself.

“Women+ Connect” is currently available in San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Jose, with plans for expansion to more cities in the near future.

This change comes a couple of years after Lyft released its first safety report, during which over 4,000 sexual assault cases were reported between trips in 2017 through 2019. Additionally, the company faced 17 new lawsuits last year related to sexual and physical assaults.