Ridesharing is a new transportation option in BC. Ridesharing companies use a smartphone App to connect drivers with passengers in the area. Ridesharing differs from taxis because rideshare vehicles are generally owned by the driver and blend in with other cars on the street. Most of the time, the only identifier on the vehicle is a sticker or light on the front or rear windshield. Because of this, here are some safety tips for women using Ridesharing services.
BEFORE GETTING IN THE CAR
- Review the safety features of the ridesharing App.
- Check your driver’s photo in the App. In most ridesharing Apps, when a driver accepts your request, you will see the driver’s photo, car model, and license plate number, and you can follow them on a map in real time as they make their way to pick you up. Match the driver and vehicle information upon arrival.
- Choose to wait inside whenever possible until your driver arrives. If not, wait in a well-lit area where there may be security camera (i.e. a doorway of an establishment). In most Apps, you can see your driver’s ETA on the App; therefore, you can choose to wait inside until your driver arrives.
- Ask the driver to confirm YOUR name to make sure they are your ride before you get into the car. On most ride sharing Apps, the driver who accepts your ride request will have some of your information such as name, phone number and pick up location. By asking a driver to confirm your name (instead of you telling them your name), this should indicate to you that they are the correct person who is supposed to pick you up.
- Before closing the door of the car, check if you can open the door again to ensure there is no child safety lock on the door that will prevent you from opening the door and leaving the car if necessary.
WHILE YOU’RE IN THE CAR
- Sit in the backseat, preferably on the passenger side so you can see both the driver and the road.
- Share your trip with a friend or family member. This can be done through most rideshare Apps.
- Call a contact and verbally tell them (or leave a voicemail) where you are, your destination, and what time you expect to arrive. This will suggest to the driver that someone is looking out for you and/or waiting for you.
- Follow along in a maps App and note any route changes.
AFTER YOUR TRIP
- Report uncomfortable, unsafe, inappropriate, harassing behavior and/or experiences of violence to the police and the ridesharing company. Reporting your experience of violence in a timely manner will encourage accountability by the ride sharing
- If you need support reporting an experience of violence to the police and/or ridesharing company, contact your local anti-violence
- You can also give feedback (whether good or bad) about the driver to the ridesharing company on the ridesharing App after your trip or call the contact number in your
To find an anti-violence program in your community see the BCSTH directory http://bcsth.ca/directory/ or call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808
©2019 BC Society of Transition Houses, Technology Safety Project.
Adapted from and in cooperation with Womanspace Inc., United States.
i The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation was established to honour Samantha Josephson to educate the public on the importance of ride share safety. The Josephson family has granted permission to BCSTH to use their foundation name to share ridesharing safety information in BC. For more information, https://www.whatsmyname.org/.