SOCIAL MEDIA

New Lyft option matching female, nonbinary passengers with drivers makes travelers feel safer

Dec 20, 2023, 6:50 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Women taking Lyft rides to and from events and gatherings this holiday season have a new safety feature they can use.

The Lyft rideshare app recently launched Women+ Connect in Salt Lake City. It allows both passengers and drivers to opt in to be paired with a female or nonbinary person when one is available, but it is not guaranteed.

Crystal Cooper said she’s been driving for Lyft for nearly 10 years. She said, especially as an overnight driver, she’s thrilled to see this option.

“Honestly, it brought tears to my eyes because I have been waiting for this,” Cooper said. “These are conversations I’ve been having with my passengers for years.”

Cooper said many of her riders over the years have expressed safety concerns.

“I’ve picked up so many women that have been at the bars, picked up women from parties, nonbinary folks, LGBTQIA folks who are just wanting to find a safe ride home, and sometimes they just don’t feel safe in certain circumstances,” she said.

Cooper said she’s had scary encounters from the driver’s seat, too.

“I had a guy like snarling in my car,” she said. “I’ve had people try to get into the front seat. I’ve had many times where I’ve almost been attacked, and I’ve been assaulted.”

Cooper said not all men give her or other people problems, but she wishes behaviors would change.

“Men, just stop being creepy to the drivers and to the passengers,” she said.

She said the Women+ Connect feature will help more women get to where they need to go.

“Female riders told me that they stopped taking rideshare in general until they heard about this,” Cooper said.

Cooper said one criticism is many of her passengers don’t know about the option. She wishes it was advertised more. She hopes the new feature incentivizes people to sign up to drive. She estimates only 30% of drivers in Salt Lake City are female.

“That would be a really great thing to be able to say… women, nonbinary, trans folks to be able to come out and say, ‘Hey, I can go and I can drive at night,'” she said.

Rideshare passengers at Salt Lake International Airport told KSL TV they felt the same way.

“A girl traveling alone with another girl sometimes makes you feel safer than maybe a girl traveling with a guy,” traveler Emma Stallings said.

Many said they’re excited to take advantage of the option.

“For some reason, I do feel safer if I know that it’s a woman rather than a man only because I travel alone,” said Jeanette Edwards, another traveler. “I think I would prefer it if I’m with my grandchildren as well.”

Edwards said she’s never had a negative experience with an Uber or Lyft driver, regardless of gender, but she said she appreciates having the option.

“I feel like women have each other’s backs,” she said. “I think we need to.”

Lyft users can opt into the Women + Connect feature by:

  1. Open the menu icon in the top left-hand corner of the app.
  2. Tap ‘view profile’
  3. Click on the pencil edit option
  4. Select ‘gender’
  5. Switch on the toggle for ‘Women+ Connect’

KSL 5 TV Live

Social Media

The European Union has launched a formal investigation into TikTok. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty I...

Anna Cooban

The EU opens formal probe into TikTok over protection of children

The European Union has launched a formal investigation into TikTok to determine whether the company is doing enough to protect minors on its platform as well as examine other suspected violations of the bloc’s landmark Digital Services Act.

10 days ago

A principal in Davis County School District is calling on parents to help him identify ad shut down...

Debbie Worthen

Davis County principal calls on parents to track down cyberbully on TikTok

An elementary principal in the Davis School District is asking all parents of sixth grade students to help track down and stop a cyber bully.

22 days ago

Sen. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, and Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, speak about their new s...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com and Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Utah lawmakers want social media companies to ditch algorithmic feeds, limit time for minors

State lawmakers unveiled Monday their proposed changes to Utah's social media regulations, which would allow companies to avoid an assumption of harm.

24 days ago

(Screenshot of X video from user @blakestonks)...

Josh Ellis and Shelby Lofton

Viral video appears to catch Cybertruck driver using Apple VR headset in Utah

A social media video has gone viral for showing a man wearing a new Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset while driving a Tesla Cybertruck in Utah County.

24 days ago

The TikTok logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen which displays the TikTok h...

Michelle Chapman, AP Business Writer

Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny and others may vanish from TikTok as licensing dispute boils over

Universal Music Group, which represents artists including Taylor Swift, Drake, Adele, Bad Bunny and Billie Eilish, says that it will no longer allow its music on TikTok now that a licensing deal between the two parties has expired.

29 days ago

FILE - Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., introduces the Model X car at the company's headquarter...

Associated Press

X pauses some Taylor Swift searches as deepfake explicit images spread

Social media platform X has blocked some searches for Taylor Swift as pornographic deepfake images of the singer have circulated online.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

New Lyft option matching female, nonbinary passengers with drivers makes travelers feel safer