‘Quite a journey’
Driveher to hit the streets with goal of safer taxi rides for women
The latest entrant into Toronto’s ride-sharing scene has one particularly important distinction: Both the driver and the passenger have to be women.
After nearly two years of groundwork navigating through the city’s bureaucracy, Driveher, a ride-sharing platform exclusively run and used by women, is set to launch this Friday with more than 100 female drivers already signed up to hit the road. Its arrival adds to the city’s evergrowing car-sharing industry, from Uber to Lyft, Instaryde, Facedrive and Taxify.
“Finally,” said the company’s founder Aisha Addo, expressing excitement about getting through the process and the prospect of sending registered female drivers on the roads.
“It was exhausting. There were many times I felt like giving up and let go, but someone would then call or message me asking about the service and when we’re launching. That really kept me going. It was quite a journey.”
Touting itself as an alternative for women who may otherwise feel uncomfortable or unsafe to ride in male-driven vehicles, Driveher has secured a licence from the city to operate as a private transportation company. Its insurance coverage is provided by Northbridge Insurance, and
all the drivers underwent a rigorous background check, according to Addo.
Driveher users will have a range of access to services through the app, including prescheduling options, safety tips and built-in emergency buttons in case they need immediate assistance while in the car.
While the company will initially operate in Toronto and the GTA, the plan is to gradually expand throughout the country.
Addo, who is also the founder of Power to Girls Foundation, said Driveher is both about safety and empowerment of women. In a male-dominated industry like taxi driving, incidents of sexual harassment, prying personal questions or lewd comments have been reported in Toronto and across the country.
driveher founder aisha addo Bernard Weil/torstar news service