RightRides: A Safe Alternative to Limousines and Taxi Cabs?
Following several high profile taxi cab and limousine assaults, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) launched RightRides DC, a service providing “free and safe rides home to women and LGBTQ-identifiying individuals late at night.”
According to The Washington Post, “for those most often harassed, the simple act of getting a ride from a stranger can be a horrible experience….The horror stories are well known: An altercation with a ride-share driver that ends with a rape accusation. A rider getting slapped in the face after dealing with a barrage of homophobia and general hatred. An assault by a driver who doesn’t approve of your relationships. And those are just the cases that are reported.”
How It Works
“When RightRides DC gets a call, two people are dispatched in one car. One is always a woman. The task of navigating and driving are kept separate to make things go more smoothly. because there’s no arguing over routes. With more people, and the driver distracted, problems arise. With two people, the driver just drives. All volunteers, they undergo a criminal background check,” The Washington Post explains.
The program is modeled after a similar award winning program in New York City and first launched with holiday services on Halloween and New Years Eve.
RightRides DC states, “We plan to expand the service area and run the service more frequently, with the goal of operating every Saturday by next year.”
Our Legal Take
By law, all patrons of taxi, limo and ride-sharing services have a right to feel safe and secure while in the vehicle. Sadly, late-night assaults and rapes at the hands of transportation service drivers have become all too frequent and raise grave questions about employee screenings and criminal background checks.
We applaud RightRides DC for initiating a safe transportation program for women and LGBTQ patrons in DC and hope other cities will work to improve safe late-night transportation options.
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