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rideshare is often regarded as the best solution for a safe ride home, but when you’re a woman who’s driving or riding solo, sharing a private vehicle can put you at risk. Safr is redefining rideshare by offering an app that directly meets the needs of women to offer every driver and passenger peace of mind.
With the recent rise of sexual assault lawsuits against Lyft and ongoing calls for better female Uber driver safety, it’s clear that modern rideshare services do give cause for concern. However, as the industry remains largely unregulated, safety features are often slow to develop or leave plenty to be desired.
In this article, we’ll discuss how Safr is redefining rideshare for women across the United States. We’ll also guide you through the sign-up process for riders and drivers, so you can join the unique service today.
- What Is Safr?
- How Does Safr Work?
- How to Sign Up as a Safr Rider
- Safr Driver Requirements
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Safr?
Previously known as SafeHer, Safr is a rideshare app that’s focused on connecting women to safe transportation and better driving gigs.
When using Safr, riders can find drivers who have undergone a more extensive vetting process than on most ride-hailing platforms. In return, approved drivers can receive mentorship, equity, incentives, and a higher average pay than the industry standard. Both riders and drivers have immediate access to safety features during every trip.
While Safr is best known for being a women-friendly service, it doesn’t bar men from using the app by any means. Instead, the platform empowers riders and drivers to select the gender they are most comfortable riding with for the best rideshare experience possible. With women making up less than 25% of all rideshare drivers, Safr helps create a greater gender balance in the industry.
In addition, a portion of fares from each of your Safr rides will always go toward charitable causes that benefit the greater community.
How Does Safr Work?
Requesting a ride works much like it does on any rideshare app, connecting you to a driver as soon as you input your pick-up and drop-off destinations and request a ride. When you get matched, however, you have the option to accept or immediately cancel your ride without any fees. If you feel uncomfortable with your match due to their ratings, vehicle, or poor past experience, you can get matched with a driver that suits your needs.
Once your trip has ended, you’ll immediately get your invoice and be able to leave a star rating and written feedback for your driver.
While Safr only offers one vehicle option — a basic sedan that fits up to four passengers — you do have the option to schedule your ride ahead of time.
What truly makes Safr unique are the five major precautions that the company takes to keep you safe:
- Safr Standard: This is the platform’s guarantee that riders will be matched with drivers who have been fully vetted by Safr’s in-person interviews and driving sessions. Drivers also have access to free ride safety resources.
- Command Center: The Safr team is always monitoring rides, so if there’s a change in your route, you (as a rider or driver) will immediately be contacted.
- SOS: If you feel uncomfortable or are faced with an emergency, you can hit an SOS button that can connect you to the Safr team or to 911 anytime during your ride. Riders and drivers can also use this ride security feature to automatically send a text to an emergency contact that states you don’t feel safe and includes your location.
- Color Matching: Riders and drivers are both assigned colors that they should confirm with each other upon pick-up.
- Background Checks: Drivers undergo some of the most comprehensive background checks in the industry, which check for criminal and driving history.
Features in Development
In addition to the features described above, Safr also has plans to launch the following ride options in the near future:
- Airport service: Though Safr isn’t currently authorized to operate at airports, this is a service they plan to provide.
- Specific driver requests: Safr will allow you to send requests directly to the drivers you prefer, so you can ride with your most trusted drivers.
- Cash payment: Not much is publicly stated about how this feature will work, but Safr does have plans to allow riders to pay in cash.
How to Sign Up as a Safr Rider
It’s simple to sign up to become a Safr rider. To set up your account, follow these eight short steps:
- Download the Ride Safr app from the App Store or the Google Play store.
- Open the app and tap “Signup.”
- Tap “Signup with Facebook” to connect your account, or manually sign up by inputting your first name, last name, email address, preferred password, phone number, and gender. If you sign up with Facebook and do not have a phone number connected to your account, you’ll need to manually enter your phone number before continuing.
- Add your profile picture and tap “Next.”
- Add your payment method by manually inputting your credit card information or by scanning your credit card. Then, tap “Submit.”
- On the next page you can select the charitable causes that your rides support by tapping “Your Selection” or automate your selection by tapping “Let Safr Decide.” Users can support charities from three of 10 categories: environmental, human rights, scientific, children’s, international, medical research, domestic violence, poverty and homelessness alleviation, animal advocacy, and education.
- Select the gender(s) you’re most comfortable riding with, then tap “Save.”
- You should receive an email with a “Confirm Email” button and a text with a verification link. Tap on both of these to start requesting rides.
If you’d prefer to complete the initial account creation on your desktop computer, you can do so by filling out the form on this Safr rider page. However, you will still need to log into the Ride Safr app and complete your account setup to begin requesting rides.
It should be noted that many reviewers have reported issues with the sign-up process, as well as glitches when requesting rides. We also experienced issues when trying to sign up with Facebook and were initially unable to receive an account verification text. If you experience any glitches in the process, make sure to reach out to Safr at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
Safr Driver Requirements
Safr drivers must pass some of the strictest requirements in the rideshare industry, though you are guaranteed better pay with this rideshare service than with Uber and Lyft. To become a Safr driver, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have a valid U.S. Social Security number.
- Have a valid driver’s license, active and in good standing for at least three years.
- Have a valid bank account to receive payment.
- Own a four-door vehicle in good condition that seats five and is no more than 15 years old.
- Valid car insurance and proof of registration in your state.
- Pass a motor vehicle history check. Safr won’t accept drivers who were at fault for a motor vehicle accident in the past year. Driver’s license suspensions in the past seven years and reckless driving citations are also red flags for Safr.
- Pass a background check. Safr bars anyone who has been convicted of a crime in the past 10 years. You may also be asked to pass a state criminal background check (e.g. the Criminal Offender Record Information or CORI check in Massachusetts).
- Show your commitment to women’s safety, as well as the empowerment of women.
If you meet these requirements and are ready to sign up, you can start the process by submitting your information at the top of this Safr driver page. Once a Safr team member has reviewed your submission, you’ll be invited to an in-person interview, which must be completed before you can start earning with the Drive Safr app.
Frequently Asked Questions
Safr can be a great way to stay safe while rideshare, particularly for women drivers and riders. If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at these answers to frequently asked questions:
1. Where is Safr available?
Safr is currently available in six cities throughout the United States and is continuing to grow. You can use Safr in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Orlando, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
2. How much does Safr cost?
Safr doesn’t disclose its exact rates, so it’s hard to say, but your final cost will be determined based on the time and distance of your ride. This cost doesn’t include your tip. If you cancel your ride after five minutes of requesting one, you’ll be charged a flat fee of $5 instead.
Due to the extensive background checking of drivers on this platform and Safr’s commitment to fair pay, you can expect a higher cost for your ride on Safr than on Uber or Lyft.
3. How do I set my emergency contact in the Safr app?
To set your emergency contact, open your app menu and select “Friends & Trusted Drivers.” Then, tap “Friends” and select “Add Friends.” From here, you can simply give Safr access to the contacts on your phone and select your desired emergency contacts, then tap “Add.”
Drive and Ride Safer
Safr is a new rideshare service that’s all about empowering women through safety and opportunity. By allowing you to choose who you’d like to ride with and offering safety features along the way, you’ll have peace of mind that keeps you comfortable during every trip you take. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that a portion of your fares are supporting causes you believe in.
If you want to stick to one of the main competitors in the U.S. rideshare space to get the most ride requests, you may want to compare before committing to a single app. Read our comparison of Lyft vs. Uber for drivers to break down the best and the worst of each platform.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.