The crime level in Malaysia is always a worry, and virtually everyone has a horror story about being harassed and exposed to crimes while taking public transport.
After hearing one too many stories, full-time mother Denise Tan decided to take matters into her own hands.
Thus was born Riding Pink, a transportation service platform for women that is the first of its kind in the country.
Due to the prevalence of sexual harassment in this country, women-only services are nothing new, with women-only buses and women-only carriages on trains. But this is the first public transport network that connects women service providers with women customers.
It’s a novel idea- providing safer taxi rides for women while also giving an opportunity to stay-at-home moms to earn an income while juggling domestic duties.
Tan decided to create Riding Pink after speaking to many stay-at-home mothers.
“Most full-time jobs require us to be in the office the whole day. For a mother, it is a little difficult due to separation anxiety and family commitments while some would have left the workforce for some time and found it difficult to get a job after that,” Tan said.
These women also wanted the flexibility of choosing their own customers, and preferred women, making this a win-win situation for women customers who would feel safer with women drivers.
Tan said that Riding Pink started recruiting women drivers in September via Facebook and they now have a little over 100 drivers already.
She says that Riding Pink has enjoyed an overwhelming response from the public after its official launched on October 10.
“From Nov 21 to 27, we recorded about 100 trips. Meanwhile, recurring trips on weekdays of those going to school and work is also increasing,” she said.
At the moment they are matching drivers and passengers manually, with requests received on Riding Pink’s Facebook, Whatsapp or through phone calls.
“Firstly, we will either get a message via personal message to Riding Pink’s Facebook or through Whatsapp asking for a ride. Then we will ask for the pick-up and drop-off points and get back to them with a fare,” she elaborates.
When a passenger confirms that they want a ride, they will be sent the driver’s details and vice versa.
A mobile app is due to launch next year. Tan sees Riding Pink as a complement to existing ride providing services like Uber and Grabcar, rather than competitors as their model is slightly different.
To be a driver for Riding Pink, all drivers need are a valid driving license and an insured car that is not more than nine years old.