E-services: E-hailing for her

This article first appeared in Enterprise, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on December 31, 2018 - January 06, 2019.
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Recent cases of assault involving women using ride-sharing facilities have created concerns about women’s safety in these vehicles. Last year alone, there were five reported incidents of assault and rape committed against women who were using these services.

To address the evident gap in the market, Nick Smith and Yap Chun Fei launched a women-only car-sharing app — Carriage for Her — in September. Said to be “Asia’s women-only exclusive car-share app”, the service promotes safety for female passengers and aims to give women opportunities to earn an income.

Unlike other ride-sharing services, new sign-ups are required to take a snapshot of their identification card (MyKad) or passport for verification purposes. This is in line with the requirements of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

The app comes with an SOS button for both the driver and passenger to alert emergency response services when necessary.

Passengers are currently required to pay for their rides in cash, but the developers are working to include credit card payments. The service also allows users to book trips at any time or schedule one ahead of time.

Only women are allowed to open an account on the application, but passengers are permitted to bring along male companions for the ride, provided that users key in the details of the male passengers when booking the ride. This is located under the pickup/drop off input fields.

“Only women are allowed to make trip bookings. Should a man impersonate a female passenger, the driver may report the passenger and this will result in the passenger’s account being suspended. This is to ensure that Carriage caters primarily for women, for their safety and peace of mind,” says the company in the app’s Frequently Asked Questions list.

“If you place a booking without specifying that you will be accompanied by a male companion, the driver reserves the right to decline picking you and your partner up.”

According to news reports, Carriage for Her currently has 167 registered drivers in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Kuantan, Ipoh, Penang, Langkawi, Kota Bharu, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.