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Lyft adds feature allowing women and non-binary people to choose riders and drivers of the same gender

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Rideshare company Lyft is leaning heavily into its recent effort to provide women and non-binary people with the ability to choose who their rider or driver is.

The new effort is called Women+ Connect, which will apparently give women and non-binary riders and drivers the ability to partner with other women and non-binary people, according to NBC News. The announcement was made on Tuesday.

Lyft CEO David Risher told NBC News in an exclusive interview that "for your own peace of mind, the ability to choose a woman driver might be exactly the thing that allows you to say, you know what, yeah, this really is making my life better."

He suggested that providing women and non-binary people with the ability to choose who they offer service to would allow them the "opportunity to earn money on their own terms."

Lyft's Women+ Connect statement says:

Many people value the earnings opportunity driving rideshare on the Lyft platform offers — close to $36 per hour**, on average, including tips and bonuses — in addition to the minute-by-minute flexibility, but it can be especially important to women.*** Among women drivers on our platform:
  • 57% say they drive to provide supplemental income to their household.
  • 98% say that app-based work provides them with the freedom and flexibility they need.
  • And 90% say app-based work allows them to earn money while pursuing something else (such as going to school or starting a business).

While nearly half of all Lyft riders are women, only 23% of the company's drivers are women, according to a release.

The company said that the change will allow women and non-binary people the ability to be more confident in their experience by creating a more comfortable environment.

"When the feature goes live in a city, women and nonbinary riders will be prompted in their Lyft app to select ‘Count me in,’ which will increase their chances of matching with women and nonbinary drivers," the statement says.

"Women and nonbinary drivers will see the same opt in. Anyone can update their preferences or opt out in their settings at any time."

The rollout is expected to be tested in Chicago, Phoenix, San Jose, San Francisco, and San Diego to start out. Women+ Connect is set to make its way to other cities at a later date, per the report.

However, the company stated that it is not guaranteed that a women or non-binary person would have all preferences met. And while women and non-binary people will not be able to specifically request drivers on Lyft exclusively, the Women+ Connect with provide them with a preference feature that could increase their chances of getting matched with someone they prefer.

Lyft unveils 'Women+ Connect' to address safety issueswww.youtube.com

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