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

File - Workers install lighting on an "X" sign atop the company headquarters, formerly known as Twi...

Associated Press

What happened to the likes? X is now hiding which posts you like from other users

Social media platform X is now hiding your likes.

1 day ago

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends UFC 302 at Prudential Center on June 01, 2024 in Newark,...

Jill Colvin, Will Weissert, and Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

Trump joins TikTok and calls it ‘an honor.’ As president he once tried to ban the video-sharing app

Donald Trump has joined TikTok, the video-sharing app he once tried to ban as president. He posted his first video from a UFC fight in New Jersey on Saturday night.

10 days ago

FILE - The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo, on Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)...

Mary Culbertson

Utah files new lawsuit against TikTok, alleging it exploits teens on ‘virtual strip clubs’

The state of Utah filed its second lawsuit against TikTok, this time alleging that the platform sexually exploits teens and profits off what it says are "virtual strip clubs."

10 days ago

FILE: In this photo illustration, a mobile phone featuring the TikTok app is displayed next to the ...

Haleluya Hadero, AP Business Writer

TikTok sues US to block law that could ban the social media platform

TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance are suing the U.S. federal government over a law that would ban the popular video-sharing app unless it’s sold to another company.

1 month ago

In one TikTok video, viewed more than 16.7 million times, an interviewer asks eight women on the st...

AJ Willingham, CNN

Man or bear? A viral question has spawned scary responses

Another day, another hypothetical scenario tearing people apart on social media. However, this cultural discourse has some sharp teeth.

1 month ago

FILE - OpenAI's ChatGPT app is displayed on an iPhone in New York, May 18, 2023. With companies dep...

Associated Press

Eight U.S. newspapers sue ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement

A group of eight U.S. newspapers is suing ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging that the technology companies have been “purloining millions” of copyrighted news articles without permission or payment to train their artificial intelligence chatbots.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

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.

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