This article was published on April 10, 2016

‘Chariot for Women’ is a female-only Uber that could get shut down before it takes off

‘Chariot for Women’ is a female-only Uber that could get shut down before it takes off Image by: lightpoet / Shutterstock
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

A new ride-sharing initiative is set to launch in Boston on April 19. Chariot for Women is a female-only (mostly) ride-sharing service that utilizes heavily-background checked women drivers and only serves female customers.

There have already been a number of rapes and assaults by Uber drivers, and countless more reported feeling threatened. These occurrences led to a revelation for company founder Michael Pelletz, who sought to provide a service that women could feel safe using.

While billed as a woman-only service, Pelletz added that the service would pick up children under 13 regardless of gender, as well as transwomen. He wasn’t clear about whether transwomen could be drivers for Chariot for Women. A request for comment wasn’t immediately answered, but we’ll update if this information becomes available.

No one argues that there could be a need for gender-specific service, but Chariot for Women could run into some significant legal hurdles should it gain any real traction in the market.

Joseph L. Sulman, an employment law specialist, told the Boston Globe that the legality of what Pelletz is setting out to do remains unclear. Its female-only policy could make it the target of gender discrimination lawsuits — suits that would be difficult to win for a company that’s openly advertising that it’s female only.

Pelletz told TechCrunch that he welcomes the challenge, and hopes to take the case to the Supreme Court should it become necessary.

Of course, that’s if the service ever materializes past another ‘Uber for…’ idea as TNW alum Mic Wright points out.

Update: Chariot for Women Founder Michael Pelletz confirmed that transwomen are allowed to drive for the company.

via Boston Globe