Image via Reckon South
At the end of 2019, the ridesharing app Uber reported that more than 3,000 sexual assaults had taken place while driving on the platform in 2018. Many posts went viral after reports from women and members of the LGBTQIA + community dealing with attacks on their drivers via social media platforms. To combat this growing problem, two women entrepreneurs from Georiga decided to take the initiative and create a new carpooling facility to protect these groups from such attacks during their driving experiences.
Kiersten Harris and Jillian Anderson are the founders of HERide, the Georiga-based ridesharing app for women, with the goal of providing drivers with a safer, more relaxed experience. The company describes itself as "a women-friendly car pool agency that is committed to getting women from point A to point B without any problems".
"Our motto is 'choose to be undisturbed'. We wanted to create a platform where women can feel safe and welcome," Harris said in an interview with Reckon. "Starting out in an already established industry doesn't mean you have to rebuild the bike. We wanted to improve the women's ridesharing system and we looked at ways to do it."
In addition to the improved driving experience, the app combats sex trafficking with additional features to increase safety. This includes thorough background checks of all drivers before they can be approved to join the platform, with a limit on the number of participants.
"Everything is based on our own experience," adds Harris. "We all know people who have been followed, harassed or even almost kidnapped while driving or driving."
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What is #HERide?