A small group of women are leading India’s first all-female fleet of bike taxis driven with female riders in mind.
The service, which was started on Jan. 21, goes by the name of Bikxie Pink—a nod to the color of the women’s scooters. The fleet is based out of Gugaon, which adjoins the Indian capital Delhi, and grew out of the company’s own findings about rider safety. Internal research conducted by Bikxie revealed that female passengers were more reluctant to use the service based on safety concerns and unease with riding behind male drivers.
“It’s great — I get to talk to women customers and ensure that they don’t get stuck in traffic jams,” Lalita Yadav, one of the service’s new female pilots, told Mashable. “I don’t feel that I’ve worked enough, until I’ve driven 40 or 50 kilometres a day.”
The umbrella company Bikxie currently employs 10 male and five women drivers within the IFFCO Chowk Metro Station, a Gurgaon hub. Using an app exclusively on Android, customers can book a ride with one of the fleet’s drivers. On the surface Bikxie seems quite similar to the popular ride share service Uber or India’s own Ola cabs—it’s drivers—or pilots—are on a fixed salary and don’t own the vehicles.
The handful of women selected for the Bikxie Pink fleet were trained in how to use GPS and the app, while also having to become familiar with the areas many routes. The service has seen around 50 bookings a day, despite having only been active for around a week.
Bikxie is only one among many of the area’s growing taxi services offering alternative, low-cost transportation for short distances in Gurgaon.
“With the worsening traffic situation and lack of last mile connectivity options for daily commuters, came the idea of providing commuters an option which is reliable, safe and convenient,” co-founder Divya Kalia said.