Scroll through your rideshare history, and you’ll probably notice a trend: most of your drivers were men.
Gina Ma — head of brand strategy at rideshare app Lyft — won’t confirm how many drivers are women, but an informal survey indicates the following:
Since its founding in 2012, Lyft wanted to create a “hospitality service that felt safe and inviting for women,” Ma says.
We decided to see what drivers had to say.
Over a few days, we exclusively took Lyft with women drivers in the Washington, D.C. to share their stories from the road.
These are the experiences of five women.
(Conversations have been edited for clarity.)
Jessica Appling:“I like meeting new people, since everyone’s story is so different. Even though we’re all different, our stories are so much alike. We’re all people out here on a hustle to be able to survive. That makes a lot of our stories alike.”
Twanna Duncan: “I do this for an hour instead of eating, because I’m trying to lose some weight. So I make some money.”
Danielle Casanova: “I’m a Navy Reservist and right now I’m on active duty orders. It’s given me a chance to open my comfort zone. I just like talking to people.”
T.D.: “If I see someone who looks suspicious … I put on church music and I [sing] gospel songs real loud. Hopefully, if they thought about doing something, they didn’t. I keep my screwdriver right here. If I have to use it, I use it. … If someone scares me or whatever, I give them a one-star rating so Lyft won’t put me with this person again.” — T.D.
Beatriz(last name redacted by request): “I’m surprised to see how nice it is. How nice people treat you. And I’ve never had a problem. I’ve never felt insecure. Never.”
Shirley Thompson: “I’m from New York … I can act crazy too.”
J.A.: “I’ve had situations with guys where somebody would try to get my number or try to talk to me, and I just laugh it off, like, ‘Oh, I’m married,’ even though I’m not. But nothing threatening.”
B: “Some ladies asked me, ‘But you are trying to find another job, right?’ They say, ’You have to think about your future. Or, ‘Are you going to drive all day long?’ They ask that.”
J.A.: “I’m big on smell. I pick up a lot of people who’ve been walking around for a long time over at the National Mall. It’s families visiting out of town. If you’re walking around for 12 hours, you’re gonna be musty, you know. I deal with it every day. I crack the window and I turn the air all the way up.”
S.T.: “Just one guy … he was like a chauvinist. I said, ‘In my car, you’re not gonna talk to me any kind of way.’ I told him, ‘Get out of my car.’ He called me an idiot. After that, I thought it was time for him to go. He got right on out. His wife was apologetic, but the damage was done.”
T.D.: “It’s my nails, my hair and my happy hour money. I save it all until Friday, cash it out and it’s the weekend. I love it. I have no complaints.”
D.C.: “I’m doing it for tax write-off for maintenance on my vehicle. I just put $1,000 tires on my vehicle a couple months ago, my oil changes and all that good stuff.”