Lyft, the popular ride-hailing app, has unveiled a new feature called Women+ Connect that allows women and nonbinary drivers to set a preference for picking up only women riders. This innovative move is aimed at attracting more women drivers to the platform, as currently only 23% of Lyft drivers are women.
Lyft’s new Women+ Connect feature allows women and nonbinary drivers to set a preference for picking up women riders, with the aim of increasing the representation of women on the platform. By providing this empowerment and control, Lyft hopes to attract more women drivers and bridge the gender gap in the ride-hailing industry.
Addressing the Gender Gap in Ride-hailing
Lyft’s Women+ Connect feature follows in the footsteps of Uber, which introduced a similar feature in Saudi Arabia in 2019 and expanded it globally in March 2023. Recognizing the gender disparity between drivers and riders, Lyft has been actively working to increase the presence of women on their app since 2019.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic impeded their efforts. It was only with the appointment of CEO David Risher earlier this year that a new plan was devised, leading to the development of the Women+ Connect feature.
Empowering Women Drivers
In an interview, Audrey Liu, Lyft’s head of design, highlighted the feedback received from women drivers and prospective drivers. Many expressed a desire to match with more women riders, as it would give them more confidence to try ride-sharing or drive more frequently.
With Women+ Connect, Lyft aims to remove barriers for women drivers and enable them to gain confidence behind the wheel. It offers a preference feature that allows women and nonbinary drivers to prioritize matches with other nearby women and nonbinary riders. However, it’s important to note that this feature does not guarantee exclusive matching with women riders. If there are no women riders available, the preference feature will still match drivers with men.
Providing Control to Riders
Lyft also gives riders control over the Women+ Connect feature. Once the feature is live in a city, women and nonbinary riders are prompted in their Lyft app to select “Count me in,” which increases their chances of being matched with women and nonbinary drivers.
The Women+ Connect feature was launched in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, California. However, Lyft has plans to expand it to more cities in the near future.