NEW LORD OF THE LADIES
A new ride service catering to women and children is generating a lot of buzz. AUDREY VIJAINDREN finds out more about Ladies Only Riders and Drivers
FEMALE passengers often feel unsafe travelling in taxis or ride hailing services. Clutching their handbags from the moment they step inside, they make sure the doors are not locked while making a mental note of the vehicle’s registration number.
Ladies Only Riders and Driver, or LORD, is set up primarily to offer comfort and safety for female passengers, said its founder Jass Gill, 38.
“Naturally, women are more comfortable with female drivers. Since we have seat allocation for ladies on buses and train coaches, as well as designated parking bays for female drivers, I decided maybe it is time for women to have the choice of hiring lady drivers,” she said.
“We started less than 10 months ago, but we already have 80 drivers, and the number is growing steadily.
“We cover the entire Klang Valley, as well as Perak, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Johor Baru and Penang. We also have drivers in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. On occasion, we also offer long-distance trips such as from Ipoh to Langkawi, or Kuala Lumpur to Muar.”
She said their “women and children only service” is fast gaining in popularity, adding that more than 2,500 people had registered with the company.
“We allow pre-booked trips three days in advance, with no additional charge, and our fares are reasonable.”
LORD also allows its drivers to keep 100 per cent of the fares they earn.
The company started when a group of female family members and their friends decided to earn extra income by driving only women passengers.
“Through word-ofmouth, more people found out about us. Eventually, more people expressed their interest to become drivers.”
Gill said the company practised a strict screening process for its drivers.
“Our drivers must be a MyKad holder with a valid driving licence. They should own vehicles with valid road tax and insurance, and the registered vehicles must not be older than seven years.”
Passengers are required to join LORD’s Facebook group: Ladies Only Riders & Drivers (L.O.R.D), and make their pre-bookings three days in advance (lastminute requests can be considered,
based on availability of vehicles).
Stay-at-home-mum and parttime skincare distributor Loo Joo Ann, 39, from Shah Alam signed up as a driver out of curiosity.
“I’ve always wondered what it felt like to be an Uber driver, but was afraid to try because of safety concerns. I joined after discovering LORD’s Facebook page,” she said.
A mother of two, Loo said she now had regular passengers, some of whom were her friends.
“I’m proud to be able to help women and children get to their destinations safely and comfortably. At the same time, I can help
supplement my family’s income.
“Most of the time, my passengers and I talk about children. We often share tips on certain things, so the journey has been wonderful.”
Business administrator Kiran Gill, 36, who is a driver and part of LORD’s management team, regularly holds programmes with the members to help the company grow.
As a driver, she counted the experience of driving Puan Sri Brigitte Yusuff, mother of radio personality Datuk Yasmin Yusuff as one of her best moments.
“Another interesting drive for me was when I had to deliver a Mickey Mouse cake topper! That was definitely my cutest ‘passenger’ so far.”
She said her family had been very supportive.
“My father has been my pillar of strength. He feels that the female-only taxi service is a good idea,” she said.
Having used the service more than 15 times, a 45-year-old lawyer, who only wanted to be known as Michelle, said she initially had doubts about the service.
“But now, I am their regular passenger. From my experience, the drivers are always on time, the cars are clean and the rides pleasant.”
She said Jass also did her best to find a driver with a suitable car regardless of the occasion (multipurpose vehicles were often requested).
“I appreciate this service and I’ve recommended it to many of my girlfriends and female family members,” she said.
The all-women LORD team ready to drive you to your destination.
LORD driver Kiran Gill is proud to be able to make women and children feel safe, comfortable and happy.
Mother-of-two and LORD driver Loo Joo Ann enjoys talking about children with passengers.