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South African e-hailing and grocery delivery app Local has launched a women-only ride option for travellers called HER that ensures a female driver.
The e-hailing company is relatively new, launching in 2019 with a closed beta. The platform has since extended to Johannesburg and Cape Town with 7 000 drivers.
With its full launch, Local offers two ride options — the general ‘Local’ option and the ‘HER’ option. HER is aimed at creating a safe space for women and children to travel.
“‘HER’ is a female-only ride option that allows women and children to travel with peace of mind knowing that the driver is female and vetted to ensure they arrive at their destination safely and comfortably,” the company said in a press release.
Currently, just under a fifth of the drivers on the app can work under ‘HER’. However, the company hopes to increase this to at least half over the next six months.
Features that Local app includes
Local includes both e-hailing rides and grocery delivery for users.
The app also has a promotion called “R5 per trip”. This promotion subsidises customers for short rides, letting them pay only R5 rather than R20 to R60.
These rides are capped at 10km.
The company also conducts a background check and identity verification for its drivers. This is to make sure they do not have a criminal history and that they are using their real identity.
The app includes other security features such as an SOS button and trip sharing.
It’s available in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban.
What does HER female-only ride option include?
HER is included within the main Local app and is a ride option exclusively for women.
Memeburn reached out to the company for more information on the ride option, which is described as “female-only” on the website.
“The ‘female-only’ narrative seeks to describe the difference in the service offerings meaning on this ride option you are guaranteed that a female driver will be picking you up,” the company told Memeburn.
However, this does not mean that only cisgender women will be able to use the app. The company has expanded the service to include members of the LGBT community who also have safety concerns when using e-hailing apps.
“The service was primarily created to offer a safe space for women. However, we’ve seen a huge uptake from the queer community which prompted us to now allow this ride option to cater to women, the LGBT community, and children,” the company says.
“This option is restricted to a maximum of two passengers per ride or more at the discretion of the driver.”
Local also plans to add more drivers to the service to keep up with demand.
“Our team is consistently adding hundreds of female drivers to ensure that the demand is met. However, for customers who do not find a driver in their area at a given time, we urge them to use our ‘Schedule Ride’ option in the app to book a ride, at least 10 – 30 minutes in advance,” it explains.
Where to get the app
Feature image: Local