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Boston start-up offers ride-hailing service for women

A Boston ride-hailing start-up is banking on the premise that women would feel safer requesting a female driver.

A Boston ride-hailing start-up is banking on the premise that women would feel safer requesting a female driver.

Safr launched this month and is focused on providing transportation and job opportunities for women.

"In the back of a woman's head at night is, 'Am I OK?' Men don't have to think about that. Let's create a space where women can feel free to move safely wherever they need to go," said Joanna Humphry Flynn of Safr.

That sense of safety comes as other ride-hailing companies come under fire over reports of assault and allegations of sexual harassment.

"We do deeper background checks than any other ridesharing company out there," Flynn said.

The features don't end there. An SOS button can link to an emergency contact, and passengers can make their own list of trusted drivers.

At Safr, they say it's not just about protecting those in the backseat. It's about making women like Safr driver Tia Dmuchowski feel safe enough to be in the front.

"Women need to feel empowered to do all the same things that men can do without fear, and that's what I think Safr does," Dmuchowski said.

Because the company can't discriminate, SAFR says men can sign up, but so far it has had no takers.

If they do, riders can still request what gender they prefer.

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