Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
women connect feature?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
women connect feature?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
Image Courtesy Of Lyft
Culture > News

Lyft’s New Women+ Connect Feature Is Here To Make Your Rideshare Experience Feel Safer

Ridesharing is a quintessential part of college — and it’s something that’ll be around even after you graduate. Apps like Uber and Lyft are popular amongst Gen Z, but are they always safe for women and non-binary folks? Well, thanks to Lyft’s new Women+ feature, there’s a possibility for people to feel safer when they’re ordering a rideshare.

We’ve all been in a Lyft or Uber or some other rideshare before. Most of the time, it’s an uneventful ride where I get to where I need to go much quicker than if I’d had to drive and park myself. However, there have been rides that feel uncomfortable and a little scary. But, why are they scary, though? I check the plates and other car specs, but something still feels off about the whole experience. 

On Sept. 12, Lyft announced a new system preference on their app called Women+ Connect, where riders and drivers can place a filter on who is in the car with them. Women+ Connect allows female and non-binary riders and drivers to only be paired with other female or non-binary counterparts. 

This is a game-changer. As a woman living in a college town, I felt a feeling of pure relief at the freedom that can come with such a system. When I’m going out in my Halloween costume or partywear, I want to feel comfortable and excited — not unsure and uncomfortable sitting in the dark of a ride service car. 

Violence and sexual assault, unfortunately, has happened throughout the years. In Uber’s 2017-2018 Safety Report, Uber had 5,981 reported instances of sexual violence or assault. That number decreased to 3,824 in Uber’s 2018-2019 Safety Report. Meanwhile, Lyft also received 4,158 reports of sexual assault on its platform from 2017 to 2019.

I don’t know about you, but that terrifies me: When I take rideshares, it’s usually because I’m either intoxicated or unable to drive in another way — but either way, I am vulnerable in the situation. I know I’m not alone in this, and that’s why a feature like this is so important.

How does the Lyft Women+ Connect feature work?

The Lyft app has made this update super easy to use as well. For drivers, just turn the feature on through driving preferences. For riders, when you open the app, it should have the option of “Count me in” or “no thanks” to pair you with female or non-binary drivers. 

The program is available in San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, and San José currently, but more cities will be coming soon. So if you’re in one of those major cities, be sure to update the app, and let’s do this.

Bridget Anderson is a HerCampus National contributor writing from Texas. She focuses on wellness coverage, primarily about mental health issues, but she also loves writing about personal experiences and life in general. Outside of her HerCampus work, Bridget writes poetry and creative short stories. Her poetry has been featured in several publications and she has won multiple awards for her narrative writing. She is currently a senior at Baylor University where she studies English and political science. As a part time job, Bridget tutors the Baylor athletes in all things writing. In her everyday life, outside of pleasure writing, Bridget spends her time watching Beat Bobby Flay and random Disney movies while snuggling with her two rescue dogs Gus and Genie. She’s an avid reader but always makes time for coffee dates with her best girlfriends.