In season 3 of BoJack Horseman, couch surfer with an entrepreneurial spirit Todd Chavez starts a rideshare company called Cabracadabra that provides a safe space for women. In a brilliant example of life imitating art, such a rideshare company now actually exists.
Called HERide, the new rideshare service is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Traditional rideshare services have proven dangerous, especially for members of marginalized communities. Last year, Uber released a report revealing the company had received nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assault and misconduct between 2017 and 2018. HERide hopes to minimize this danger for some of the most vulnerable riders.
According to Paper, the woman-friendly app “features everything from discreet safety call buttons and customer transparency initiatives to 24/7 support staff who have experience with empathy training.”
HERide founder Kiersten Harris also explained that all prospective drivers are rigorously screened by hand, a process most rideshare companies leave to an automated system “that everyone is able to slide through.”
“We’re adamant on the security of app and customer safety,” Harris told Paper.
Meanwhile, the app is also focused providing safety measures for its drivers, who also face the risk of sexual violence. The same Uber report revealed that passengers were actually the accused party in 45 percent of the reports filed. According to Paper, the company plans to regularly host mandatory training sessions for drivers where they’ll learn self-protection.
“I don’t think any other app has this, but if you think about every other company in the world, they have mandatory training,” Harris told Paper. “So, we are offering this, because we feel like we want our drivers to feel equipped to handle anything.”
Unfortunately, in BoJack, Cabracadabra quickly lost its way, transitioning from a safe space for women to a safe space for women and men and ultimately arriving at what Todd calls “a safe-ish space for women, and a really safe space for men to look at women,” i.e. the sexy stripper whales exclusively employed as drivers. We’re assuming HERide’s real-life version won’t follow the same trajectory.
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