Why Women Only Chariot Could Crash

You may have heard of Chariot–a new female-only taxi service–is set to launch soon in Boston. While it sounds like a great idea–lots of women feel more comfortable driving with an unknown woman rather than an unknown man–I doubt it will survive the court challenges that are set to come.

What’s wrong with a female-staffed business that caters only to females (and male children up to age 13)? Well, lots of things. To make it easy to see the problem, simply switch the genders. What about a ride sharing service that employees only men? Or that says, “white people are more comfortable riding with white people, so we only hire white people and only give rides to white people and children of any race under age 13″? Yeah, the problem is pretty obvious.

There are some jobs where gender is actually a valid hiring requirement. It’s called a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) and it’s not handed out to make people feel more comfortable. For instance, customer preferences aren’t a valid reason for limiting your hiring pool by race, gender, religion, or another characteristic.

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2 thoughts on “Why Women Only Chariot Could Crash

  1. I thought the same thing when I saw about this new service. I’m also a tad perplexed, as I lived in large cities for 20 years and never heard of a crime committed by a taxi driver, if anything, they were the victims. I get that one can feel unsafe in any situation, but riding a taxi isn’t a situation so notorious for being dangerous that it would need such a service.

    I also think it would be doing young boys a disservice. How do you learn to behave growing up? By taking cues from older people. No need to baby boys as old as 13, they can handle speaking with an older guy driver.

  2. @Keith M — this is going to be an Uber-like business, and there *have* been crimes committed by those drivers. Not terribly many, but Uber shrugs it off as “they are independent contractors, not employees, so we are not responsible”. That’s pretty much why I’ll never get into an Uber or a Lyft car, and why I prefer the taxis where the city controls the licenses and the drivers are employees. (That said, I know that I’m lucky to live in a metropolitan area where taxis are easy to find.)

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