Lyft’s promise to protect women and non-binary riders will be tested nationwide today (Feb. 13), as the app announces that its Women+ Connect safety feature is expanding to users nationwide.
Women+ Connect is an opt-in setting for women and non-binary riders that asks the app to prioritize matches with women and non-binary riders. It was developed in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign, the It’s On Us Sexual Assault Prevention Campaign, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Leaders (NAWLEE) and the National Sheriffs Association’s Traffic Safety Committee.
Lyft first debuted the gender-specific safety preference in September, announcing a limited release in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. The Women+ Connect feature will now be available to even more Lyft users nationwide, including in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Las Vegas and Dallas.
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Since its initial launch, more than 7 million eligible riders have turned on the feature, Lyft reports. More than half of eligible women and non-binary drivers have also selected Women+ Connect, and the company reports that these drivers keep the feature on for 99 percent of their driving time. Lyft says it has the highest driver satisfaction rate of any feature it’s released to date.
Lyft’s introduction of Women+ Connect and other safety tools like Smart Trip check-in and location sharing are in response to calls for added security from drivers and riders alike.
“Lyft is launching an inclusive product at a time when so many companies shy away from explicitly including transgender and non-binary people,” wrote Jay Brown, chief of staff at the Human Rights Campaign, at the time of the release of Women+ Connect. “Women+ Connect was created with intent to make ridesharing better for women and non-binary riders. When carpooling is better for these people, it’s better for everyone, and we at HRC stand behind it.”
To opt-in to Women+ Connect, visit the app safety tools located in your account settings. Riders may also be prompted with a pop-up window when opening the app — just select “count me” to use Women+ Connect.