Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ladies' Taxis

The idea of taxis for women only seems to be spreading around the world. I recently took a lady's taxi in Moscow, and had a good experience with it. The car was clean, the young driver was well-dressed and drove like a pro, and I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.

A few years ago I had a different experience with this type of transportation, also in Moscow. I got to the airport with barely enough time to make the plane because the driver was late picking me up.

The idea of a taxi service just for women, run by women, seems to have originated in India but is now spreading around the world. You can find this kind of company in Prague, several cities in the Arab world, as well as in Russia. These companies even exist in the U.K. and in New York City.

Perhaps it is the increase in immigrants from Arab countries and the Indian subcontinent that is fuelling the rise of this kind of company in the West. In those societies, women are often separated from men on public transit.

I'm not sure how I feel about this development. Are women perhaps inadvertently creating their own ghetto? While it is good to create jobs for women and to see more women entrepreneurs, there may be an underside if women only feel safe riding with other women at the wheel.

However, when I think about my own group's recent experience in Russia, it was two women passengers who were ripped off by two male taxi drivers in St. Petersburg. That is not to say that all female drivers are completely honest either--my Russian host warned me  not to pay the driver until I had arrived at the airport.

In any case, if you want to try out a taxi for women only in Moscow, the Website is The site supposedly offers an English language option, but I couldn't get it to work. Pictured below is my wonderful Russian host. She and her family made my trip extra special, with their unstinting hospitality, her mother's great cooking and her husband's patient driving through some pretty horrendous traffic.

For women's taxis in other cities, do an internet search to see what is available.


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