Trusted Taxis (or rickshaws, etc.)
We create a taxi network that recruits drivers via an application process that screens for positive behavior towards women. The number of driving spots is capped to gain an "I want in" feel. It is subsidized by local brands or advertisers so that: the drivers get more money, the women get a discounted fare.
Vehicles are overtly identifiable in this network. This means the community sees men that are for the positive treatment of women driving the vehicles - reinforcing that safety is taken seriously by women and men.
Drivers being considered are made public so women can anonymously report any incidents that would disqualify them.
It could use existing infrastructure/drivers or even better be a women-run business.
I like the idea of merging a social goal with a financial incentive (job creation + subsidized drivers/rides). There's also something in empowering women through making them the business owners - or using existing infrastructure that is exciting.
Photo credit: Al Boardman (Flickr) https://www.flickr.com/photos/al_boardman
Here's what I'm thinking though - more minds in the mix will be great:
- Somehow insuring that the women riding and the men driving know each other would seem to strengthen this idea (the less anonymity the better). Set routes @ set times? A launch meeting where women meet the drivers in their region?
- Much existing transport may not be networked ie. people use their own vehicles and run their own show. How can this network succeed with huge competition?
- How do we prevent the overt signs of the network from being copied - and used for negative consequences? ie. Painting rickshaws like those in the network to attract women under the guide of being safe.
- How can being in the taxi network be a source of pride in the community vs. a way to single out drivers or others for harm/negative consequences? (especially since it would be known that drivers are making more money than the norm)
Explain your idea in one sentence.
A subsidized taxi network vetted for, and promoting, positive treatment towards women.
What is the need you are trying to solve?
1. A trusted network for women
2. Male role models that are overtly for the positive treatment of women (social proof that this is the norm - or planting a seed of doubt it's not)
3. An incentive to take action on behalf of women's safety
4. Giving women control/an active role in the safety solutions
Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?
The community - both financially through the subsidized portion + new employment. Most importantly though, women.
Success would be monitored by usage of service, demand for driver applications, interest in sponsorship, qualitative interviews and ideally reduction of crimes against women.
Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?
An organization local to the community of implementation. Maybe it uses an existing taxi infrastructure. The org would need to understand the context, politics and competition (in the U.S. I think Uber trying to go into NYC with the existing taxi unions).
Where should this idea be implemented?
Ideally where the service would be incremental to existing options vs. competing directly with ingrained one (to avoid conflict). But maybe mixing it up helps take the stand that needs to be taken.
Otherwise, set routes at standard times that match when safety issues are most likely to happen.
How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?
It could start with a beta/pilot in a set region where safety is troublesome, capping the number of drivers, set a short time frame and seeding it with a group of women who are willing to try it.
The specific community would know best - so that's where we'd need to start. Not sure where this would match the culture and behaviors in a way that would work. Someone on here will have a great suggestion...