BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Safr, an innovative new ride-sharing platform for women, today announced the premiere of an invitation-only launch in Boston, with a broader consumer roll out in the Boston market planned for March 1, and market introductions in major U.S. cities to come later this year.
As a service connecting female drivers exclusively with female riders, Safr’s mission is to empower women to participate more fully in the ride-sharing economy. Since its debut, the ride-sharing economy has rapidly transformed into an $9 billion industry that has experienced unprecedented annual growth, yet women currently account for fewer than one quarter of drivers on existing ride-sharing platforms and make on average 34% less than their male counterparts. Furthermore, fewer women use ride-sharing services as passengers as well.
“While the flexible schedule and added income would be a great option for many women, they have been reluctant to become ride-sharing drivers because of their concerns about safety,” said Stephanie Sonnabend, former CEO and president of Sonesta Hotels, co-founder of 2020 Women on Boards and Safr board member. “Safr wants to change the paradigm in ride-sharing with a platform of women driving women, creating a safe and empowering opportunity for all women.”
Core to its commitment to empowering its drivers, Safr debuts with a variety of benefit programming in place. The service offers an equity program to its drivers with drivers gaining an increased stake in the company commensurate with their hours of driving and number of driver referrals, relative to their fellow drivers. In an unprecedented act of its commitment, Safr is also offering their first 1000 drivers a 10% company commission lock rate for life, less than half the commission rate for other ridesharing companies.
Safr also plans to roll out a package of financial planning and other supportive services to drivers that will further empower them to maximize their financial freedom. Safr convenes drivers for a variety of community and training events and is the only ride-sharing company to introduce Bystander Training as part of its onboarding process as a means of empowering drivers to be a critical part of creating a safer environment for our community. As part of its invitation-only launch, Safr provides early adopter drivers the opportunity to earn enhanced benefits by providing feedback which will be integrated into the Safr service-model, enhancing the experience for both drivers and passengers.
With proprietary technologies, Safr strives to ensure the door-to-door security of passengers as well as drivers. Safr’s best-in-class safety features include a prominent SOS Button for both passengers and drivers, a Color Matching feature that helps passengers and drivers confirm they have connected with the right person before initiating a ride, and a Command Center that tracks rides in real-time to guard against deviation from a designated route. Safr will also conduct the most thorough and comprehensive driver background checks as are permitted by law.
Additionally, Safr is committed to giving back to the communities it serves by donating a portion of proceeds to charitable organizations of importance to its community of drivers and passengers.
Safr has recruited L.A.-based actresses Alex Kapp and Tricia O’Kelley, who starred on CBS’ The New Adventures of Old Christine, to serve as ambassadors for the brand. As Heads of Client Engagement and Experience, Kapp and O’Kelley will represent Safr to external constituencies, educate new drivers and passengers about the service through video content and inform the brand user experience. Both single mothers of two daughters, the actresses are advocates for the safety and empowerment the Safr platform provides.
“We are thrilled to be a part of empowering women to take full advantage of the income-generating opportunities and convenient travel that ride-sharing can offer,” said Kapp. “Safr eliminates some of the sense of unease women may feel using existing platforms, and provides drivers and passengers a sense of community unmatched by other apps.”
The concept, which has evolved from Chariot for Women to Safr, has been in the research and development phase focused on the development of the leadership team, app features and driver benefits to bring to market.
The new platform will be available for download in the App Store and Google Play the beginning of next week, and is available for use via invitation only until March 1. For more information on becoming a Safr driver, interested parties should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safr is a transportation technology platform that empowers women to participate fully in the ride-sharing economy. Launching in 2017, the service will offer ride-sharing exclusively for women. The platform features best-in-class safety features including driver-passenger Color Matching, an SOS Button and a real-time Command Center, as well as rigorous driver background checks. Safr will debut in Boston with plans to expand nationwide. For more information, visit www.GoSafr.com.