Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Girl Taxi" Service

Further on from my post "Pink Equals Women Only" comes this update from Don Duncan @ Wall Street Journal on the "women only" taxi service running in Beruit:
But these days the city's transport staple is facing some serious competition from a growing army of female taxi drivers, dressed in stiff-collared white shirts, dark shades, pink ties and small pink flowers tucked into their flawlessly coiffed hair.

All of them drive for Banet Taxi, or "girl taxi" in Arabic. It is Lebanon's first cab service for women, by women. You can't miss the company's signature candy-pink cars.

Ms. Fakhri cut her teeth in business running a pink- and pastel-hued beauty salon in east Beirut. The aesthetic legacy of that experience is clear in her current venture.

She launched Banet Taxi in March with just three cars and three drivers. Her fleet of late-model Peugeots has grown five-fold since then with enough drivers to provide 24-hour service. She is hoping to double her fleet this summer, to 24 cars.

The company is part of a regional trend. Entrepreneurs across the Middle East have recognized the business potential in offering secure transportation options for women. Banet Taxi follows on the heels of successful women-only transportation models in Dubai, Tehran and Cairo.

1 comment:

Emma O W said...

I can definitely see the use for this, not only for the modesty of local women but for visitors as well.

I only had to go in a taxi three times on my own while I was travelling in Jordan and two of those times were the only times I ever felt unsafe while in the country. One time I didn't even get in a cab, but rather walked as fast as I could towards the armed guards outside of a nearby hotel... until the proposed driver stopped following me. I was modestly dressed, too, with headscarf and everything.

Thankfully that third time was a real treat ("You're Swedish? I met a really nice Swede in Aqaba yesterday! Good people! I drive you for free - anywhere you want to go! Free!").