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September 12, 2014 2:07 pm
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Demand From Chasidic Community Expected to Boost Women Only Taxi Service

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

New York City taxis. Photo: wiki commons.

A new New York City-based taxi service, which will cater only to women, is expected to be a hit among ladies in the Chasidic Jewish community, The New York Times reported this week.

Miriam Malave, a female livery driver in Brooklyn for three decades, told The Times that the business, named SheTaxis-SheRides, will be in high demand.

Malave, 54, said she gets more requests than she can handle, often from Chasidic women in Williamsburg who will only ride with women.

SheTaxis-SheRides allows potential riders to request female drivers if they have a woman in their party. The service, which will begin Sept. 16, will take requests for rides through an app available only through Apple but eventually through Android as well. Potential riders who do not have a woman with them will be automatically redirected to other car services, according to The Associated Press.

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The female drivers will also be sporting hot pink pashmina scarves, according to The Times.

The company’s founder, Stella Mateo, said the service will help female drivers break into a male-dominated industry. Currently, only 1 percent of yellow cab drivers and 5 percent of livery car drivers are women, according to the AP.

Mateo said she was inspired to create SheTaxis because she would have liked to be able to use a female driver to help her daughters commute between after-school activities. Her husband, Fernando Mateo, is the founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, which represents 30,000 taxi and livery drivers.

The mother-of-two added that she plans to expand the service to other U.S. cities such as Washington D.C., Miami and Chicago. The AP noted that similar services already exist in India, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Australia.

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