SheRides, and 5 More Taxi Services Philly Needs Now
For as much as I avoid driving and exercise, I take a cab maybe once a month. Although most tend to think that this is the safest option for a single woman on her way home, at the risk of sounding like a paranoid cat lady, I’ve always thought that getting in a stranger’s car is a convenient way to end up in a stranger’s trunk.
Personally, I just feel safer on the El or the Green Line, where we have seemingly made a city-wide contract to be as weird as humanly possible during our time together, but to do so fairly harmlessly. (That is, when we aren’t attacking each other with hammers or kicking each other’s teeth in. I get it — it’s flawed logic, but it’s working for me.)
Would I feel differently if I was in New York, where SheRides is scheduled to roll out this week? Probably. An Uber-like cab service, SheRides (renamed from SheTaxi due to regulations in NYC) exclusively employs female drivers, who exclusively pick up female passengers. The idea is two-fold: Employ more women in an industry long-dominated by men, and make customers feel at ease — whether it’s religious or cultural norms that prevent them from getting into a cab with a man, or having seen too many Quentin Tarantino films.
As damaging as it is to lust after New York’s toys, I’m OK with admitting that they’re way ahead of us in the cab game – they’re clean, they’re reliable, and now they’re even more comfortable. We deserve nice things, too – which is why I say we steal their app, and then roll out a few more services that Philly has quite the market for.
No Reception Cab
If I wanted a terrifying ride through the city as my distracted driver talked loudly about people I don’t know, I’d call my mom. She doesn’t charge, and she usually brings me her old copy of Cooking Light.
I understand why San Diego cab drivers were insulted over the “body odor test.” In my experience, Philly’s cab drivers smell no worse than anyone else in Philly – which is still a problem. Take it from a woman who drove to work today with a wet dog and a backseat full of yoga clothes: Glade’s Clean Linen absolves many sins, up to and including that MIA spring roll.
Philadelphia’s taboo against using credit cards in cabs is unique. And while I’m sure drivers have a good reason for preferring cash, even our parking meters accept credit these days. Rumor has it that someday in the glorious, glorious future, we might be able to take the subway (the subway!) without scrounging up exact change. Grumpy Philly cab drivers: Do you really want to lag behind SEPTA?
If Frankford Avenue hadn’t been closed off for the better part of two years, I’d have an easier time believing that my driver accidentally took us on a lengthy detour. If I was better company, I might believe that he was distracted by our engaging conversation. As it is, I’m pretty sure he’s just running up the bill, and that he doesn’t care about my Fishtown french fry rankings.
Yes, I understand that I am wearing peep-toe heels in the snow. And that my yappy little dog is not the most appealing customer. And that if I even slightly organized my life, I probably wouldn’t be calling a cab at 3:30 on a Tuesday morning. But here’s the thing: I hate myself, too, and I’ll pay quite the premium if we can just pretend this isn’t happening.
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