New Amsterdam taxi service only allowing female drivers

Taxi service Staxi in Amsterdam is launching a new service through which passengers can request a female driver. The service Staxi Lady goes live on Thursday. "Not everyone feels safe with a man," director Hakima El Allaoui said to Het Parool. 

"The market is crying out for this. I heard it very regularly customers who wanted a female driver, who had good experiences with her and wanted to keep in touch with the female driver with whom they had such a pleasant ride," El Allaoui said. "Some people don't feel safe in a taxi. If they feel comfortable with a woman behind the wheel, then that is a service we are happy to offer."

A big part of offering this service is ensuring the safety of passengers, especially for female passengers, El Allaoui said. "Research shows that no fewer than 43 percent of women sometimes feel unsafe in a taxi with a male driver and that one in five women has been harassed." But the female drivers will accept passengers of all genders. "Everyone must feel safe, including men of course. The women who are going to drive for the service are already active now, they can stand their ground. Our goal is to ultimately become synonymous with a safe feeling, whether the driver is a man or a woman."

The female taxi drivers are also enthusiastic. "People who would rather not get in a taxi before, might like to try it with a woman behind the wheel," 34-year-old Fatima said to the newspaper. Alicia, 34, thinks the new service could also be popular among transgender people. "Drivers often leave them standing, but we just pick them up of course," she said. 29-year-old Rachida added "Some male drivers may be afraid that gay men will hit on all men."

Last year Amsterdam and the taxi companies therein joined forces to fight discrimination in the taxi industry, after a taxi driver refused to give Pride ambassador Jennifer Hopelezz a ride during Pride 2018.