New Car Service 'Chariot for Women' For Women Only

The car service uses only female drivers and accepts only female passengers.

ByABC News
April 11, 2016, 8:01 AM

— -- A former Uber driver and his wife are launching an alternative car service for female passengers only.

Chariot for Women, an Uber-like service, will only have females in the driver’s seat, with the goal of giving passengers peace of mind.

“Having thousands of passengers in my backseat, I heard stories about unsafe travel and Uber drivers hitting on women and just a lot of unsafe issues,” Michael Pelletz told ABC News.

Pelletz, the former Uber driver, and his wife, Kelly, are the founders of Chariot for Women.

The car service will also cater to mothers with young children. In addition to mothers and daughters, Chariot for Women will also serve moms with boys under the age of 13.

Gwen Pratt is a future Chariot for Women driver. She told ABC News that having just women and children in her back seat will likely protect drivers too.

“If I was picking up a man I know that he's going to be a lot stronger than me and I would not feel comfortable,” Pratt said.

Chariot for Women also plans to increase safety by requiring both the passenger and driver to say a unique password before the ride begins.

Uber told ABC News that its technology allows for a focus on riders' safety "in ways that have never been possible before."

"Uber's technology makes it possible to focus on safety for riders and drivers before, during, and after every trip in ways that have never been possible before," the company said in a statement. "Our technology eliminates nighttime street hails, allows riders to see their route in a map in the app, enables providing your estimated time of arrival and location, and eliminates the need for cash."

Chariot for Women is not the first women-only car service to hit the market. SheTaxis, an all-female transportation service, launched in New York City in 2014.

The company told ABC News they received an overwhelmingly positive response from customers but had to temporarily shut down, both because they could not meet the demand and because of accusations of discrimination from men looking for a ride. The company plans to relaunch soon under a new name, SheHails.

“You can't limit hiring to just one gender,” Joseph Sulman, an employment law specialist who is not involved with either company, told ABC News. “From a public accommodation aspect, you can't limit who you offer your services to just one gender.”

Chariot for Women maintains their business is well within the law.

"We believe that giving women and their loved ones peace of mind is not only a public policy imperative but serves an essential social interest,” the company’s lawyer told ABC News.

Chariot for Women will launch in Boston this month and plans to soon launch in other cities across the U.S.