Free Rides on Halloween – SoberRide and RightRides (for women & LGBT people)


Ed. Note: It has been noted that SoberRide doesn’t work for everyone. But they give a lot of rides so clearly it works for some.


From an email:

“This Friday, October 31st, the nonprofit group, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), will launch RightRides DC, an innovative new program to provide free and safe rides home to women and LGBTQ-identifying individuals late at night.

RightRides DC — which comes following reports of sexual assault accusations against Uber and the DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) — seeks to help close what experts call the “safety gap.” The program’s need is evident in recent, national studies showing that  street harassment and public sexual harassment and assault disproportionately affect and limit the mobility of women and LGBT people. The program is made possible by a sponsorship from Zipcar.”


138 Comment

  • Really? I hope everyone on this blog who typically posts here is appalled by this. There should never be active exclusion of any gender. Plus, how do you even know how someone identifies themself? Do you need to apply and answer a set of questions or something?

    • Let me guess, you’re a guy? Tell you what, I will trade you my free cab rides if you will take over my having to worry about being raped or beaten because I run into the wrong man after dark. Deal?

      • palisades

        What does that even have to do with anything? This is a matter of exclusionary action. I think most people will agree that being a woman or LGBTQ is certainly “harder” in today’s society (especially at night with drunken idiots roaming the streets), but I can’t help but feel like this is some serious hypocrisy.

        • Would you be appalled if someone was offering free tampons to women only?

        • No, it is a matter of safety. The reason that free cab rides are being offered to women and LGBTQ folks is because those are the groups most at risk of attack. If you can’t see that that is a larger issue than guys not also getting free rides (that the majority of them do not need to get home safely) then I feel like you are willfully missing the point.

          Given that this program very possibly could stop someone from getting raped, beaten or killed on Halloween, I think that that is WAY more important than your specious complaint about “exclusionary action.” Do you really begrudge these people’s safety because you aren’t going to be saving $10 on cabfare? Really???

          • palisades

            A lot of assumptions and loaded questions. You’re also picking and choosing what is more “important”.

          • @ Palisades: I’ll take that as a yes.

          • @Anon, I think you are making a lot of bold declarations and you are missing the point. You even state it as part of your argument, there is higher risk for these groups. Women and LGBTQ folks are not the only groups at risk for “getting raped, beaten, or killed”, but the risk for them is increased compared to other groups. The complaint isn’t about “saving $10 on cabfare” but everyone having an equal chance for a safe ride home.

          • @ Anon 12:27: You are making the assumption that the Right Rides program is the only one offering free rides home. It is not-Sober Ride does, and is open to everyone. So everyone DOES actually have an equal chance at a free ride home. Additionally, as you stipulated, men are at less risk of attack. So the question is why do posters have such an issue with a program targeted at groups that most posters have already conceded are at increased risk of attack? You have to realize that Right Rides probably has limited funds, and that bankrolling the rides of everyone who wants a ride on Halloween would be astronomically expensive. So why would you begrudge those funds being used for the safety of the people most likely to need them?

          • Also, I believe RightRides hires female and LGBT drivers, so they might be trying to protect them from risk of attack as well (there’s a reason you don’t normally see female cab drivers).

          • @ anon at 12:27: Since women and LGBTQ people are at an increased risk of assault, rape, etc. compared to other groups, as you concede, they already have an unequal chance for/at a safe ride home. Offering RightRides for those groups seems to me to be trying to remedy that inequality, so that they have an equal chance for a safe ride home as compared to (stereotypically straight presenting) men.

          • @Anon 12:27 here, sorry, just wanted to clarify. I wasn’t speaking out against the programs, trying to downplay the risk of attack, nor was I making any assumptions about Right Rides specifically. I will never complain over people taking the time and dedicating themselves to help others. (Although everyone does not have an equal chance at free rides home as stated, because some programs offer free rides only to certain groups, therefore certain groups have more of a chance) I was just trying to recognize the fact that anyone is at risk for an attack, though risk is different for different groups and types of risk are different for different groups, and the original argument didn’t seem to about not having to pay for cab fare, but rather everyone being able to get home safe on Halloween.

      • And he lives in Dupont, so he can walk to most nightlife and has a plethora of public transit options. He is the last person that needs this service.

        • ironically you’re overly biased self can’t tell I’m a woman who just recognizes that everyone should have the right to a safe ride home…not just women and LGBTQ …also, you haven’t answered me as to how they’re going to ‘prove’ any of the above statuses. The irony is that inequality perpetuates itself by continuously asking for favoritism. I know multiple men who have been help up in cabs. No one asked them their orientation or sexual status.

          • “also, you haven’t answered me as to how they’re going to ‘prove’ any of the above statuses”
            Something tells me they’ll just take their word for it. It’s concerning that you’re so hung up on that part, though. Some kind of sick fantasy?

          • Well, I’m sorry your boyfriend can’t come with you! But maybe you should go out on your own once in a while (outside the relatively safe bubble of Dupont, ideally) to experience firsthand how much more dangerous it can be for women.

          • Wait… so you’re saying that providing safe rides to a population that is at a higher risk for assault is asking for favoritism? a non-profit that attempts to ensure that I can get home safely without being raped or harassed, which is unequivocally more likely for women and gay people, is asking for favoritism? that makes no sense. are the homeless, a group statistically more likely to go hungry on any given day, asking for favoritism from soup kitchens that cater to the homeless population? are you offended that you can’t have any of their delicious soup? are soup kitchens discriminating against people who have enough to eat?
            I also don’t get why you’re stuck on the issue of proof. running with the soup kitchen analogy, should homeless people be required to show proof that they’re hungry or homeless? most decent people recognize that when non-profits step in and attempt to ameliorate a problem (hunger or assault or harassment) the correct response isn’t “well yeah but how are you going to make people PROVE that they’re homeless?? I know a few people who aren’t homeless who are hungry sometimes too! why isn’t this soup also for them?”
            Long story short, why are you so mad that people are giving away free soup to homeless people?

      • +1 million

      • Sorry to play devil’s advocate, but a man was sexually assaulted earlier this year near Shaw, so yes, it happens to them too. With that being said, soberride seems to be all inclusive, so it’s a moot point.

        • it doesn’t say no men can ride. Men who identify as part of the LGBTQ community can ride

          • My response referred to an earlier post where someone gathered men don’t have fear of sexual assault or being beaten as well. I never said men couldn’t ride, but hey, thanks for letting me know.

      • I agree with the OP, I’ll trade my risk of being beaten for yours, I think there are way more straight male crime victims in this city than women or LGBT.

    • When you have to live in fear of being beaten for the crime of holding your loved one’s hand, get back to me, okay. Now fuck off, asshole.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        I understand you feel strongly – but don’t say “fuck off, asshole” thanks.

        • I will phrase it differently in the future, but I stand by what I said. I do think the OP is being wilfully ignorant about the unique threats that women and LGBTQ people face, and I do think that’s a sign just doesn’t care about his fellow human beings who happen to be female or genderqueer or members of LGBTQ community, and I don’t think that’s an attitude that should be tolerated here or anywhere else.

          • nope, not true. First of all, I am a “she”. Second, everyone deserves a safe ride home. In a world of trying to establish equality for all…that’s what it should be. Equality for all. Also, do you only get a safe ride home if you are holding the hand of one of the same sex? Is that the bar that has to be met? I’m still not sure how they are figuring out who can have a ride home…

          • Dupont Resident, as a straight white male I have to say that you’re defending imaginary people who don’t need to be defended. Over the last 5 years, I’ve walked all over this city day and night and I think I’ve been aggressively harassed twice. The vast majority of my straight male friends have also never had an issue here in DC.
            On the flip side, most of my female friends can’t walk around DC for one night by themselves without facing some form of harassment. I was dating a girl in Adams Morgan and I would walk to her house at all hours of the day or night. She couldn’t walk between our places alone at night (0.5 miles away) without being harassed at least twice by some creep.
            So yeah, women and LBGT folks need these rides way more than straight men. They are magnitudes more likely to be a victim of random violence. As a straight man, I can say we’re doing just fine and there’s a 98% chance we won’t be harassed, beaten, or sexual assaulted on our drunken walk home tomorrow night.

          • The OP Anon, I simply want to say thank you for your perspective.

    • I’m LGBT and female and I’ve been sexually assaulted by cab drivers and avoid taking cabs now. I’ve donated to RightRides because people like me should have a way to get home safely!

      • I am a straight male and I have been mugged before. Where is my free ride, or am I just assumed to be not as important? More able to fight off street crime? Less likely to be carrying money? I don’t get it.

        • No, you don’t.

        • Were you mugged by a taxidriver? No? Have a seat.

          • So this is supposed to protect women and lgbt from cab divers?

          • “So this is supposed to protect women and lgbt from cab divers?”
            Yes. Or, for those who already don’t feel safe alone with a cab driver, from driving home drunk or doing something else risky instead.

        • I left my iPhone6 at the bar last night and someone stole it! Where’s my free stuff? I’m a victim too.

          • Don’t you know that if you’ve been drinking when a crime has been committed, it’s your fault? Victim-blaming 101, bro.

        • eyeroll.

          less likely to be targeted, less likely to be a victim of sexual assault, less likely to be a victim of harassment, less likely to be denied a taxi pickup, less likely to be a victim of a hate crime, and apparently less likely to understand that halloween is more dangerous for women and LGBTQ people than other nights of the year in large part because of some straight males who feel entitled to verbally or physically assault women and members of the LGBTQ community.

          services like this exist because even though we (women, LGBTQ people) gladly PAY for transportation home, that transportation is not as safe as it is for straight men and too often results in harassment or assault.

          (standing by for the #notallmen crowd)

          • +1000 to you, SMGC. I am so frustrated about the comments on this post and the metro creeper post. As someone who volunteers for a national sexual assault non-profit and a local one, I am very disappointed to learn how many people really don’t get it.

          • Accountering

            As a straight white male, I am pretty sickened by the other straight white males on this post. A non-profit has stepped in to provide safe rides home for a group that has a disproportionate risk while trying to get home. The people who are fighting this make me sick.

          • @ Accoutering, how do you know the race of the people opposing this?

          • >>”@ Accountering, how do you know the race of the people opposing this?”

            It’s perfectly obvious, and I suspect you reached the same conclusion. People who aren’t white have a keen sense of what it’s like to be “different” and vulnerable, and how implicit privilege operates. Conversely, white (middle-class) males tend to perceive their position as being normative and universal – “What? I don’t feel unsafe or harassed when someone says ‘hey baby wanna f*ck’ on the street, so why are YOU making a fuss about it?” There IS social privilege inherent in being a white (middle-class) male, but if you are one, you probably take it for granted.

            One of the ways gender (and race) inequality operates is the devaluation of others’ experiences in the face of discussions of inequality. By turning the conversation back to the white person’s “sense of unfairness,” the discussion remains centered on their own limited perspective.

        • Sober Ride is free up to a $30 fare. You read the whole post, right?

    • Do you actually believe that they would force someone to prove their sexual preference or identity in order to be allowed a ride? They permitted to discriminate any more than anybody else.

    • You’re being short sighted here. You as a straight man do not understand the level of harassment that women and LGBTQ people receive on a regular basis, particularly on Halloween. Further, when you combine alcohol and skimpy costumes, you risk the chance of not being picked up by a taxi (I’ve had gay friends who had multiple taxis looking for a fare refuse to take them on Halloween because they were clearly gay in their skimpy costumes), harassed by the driver, physically assaulted by the driver, or being stranded in an unsafe neighborhood. Absolutey there some be some personal responsibility, but these services are not an everyday thing. They come about because they know that people are more reckless on holidays such as Halloween or New Years Eve, and they are hoping to keep as many people as safe as possible. Straight men are not as at risk as women and LGBTQ people, and plus they still have the option of SoberRide, or pretty much every other services out there. Chill out, bruh.

      • palisades

        When did this person identify as a straight man?

        • The chances of him being a straight man are EXTREMELY HIGH. The number of women or LGBTQ people who would make his complaint are few and far between. Sometimes it’s possible to make a safe assumption.

          • palisades

            I feel like the LGBTQ community would be the last one to make assumptions like this. I am very surprised at some of these responses

          • You must have been an English major, because your scientific evaluation of chance is terribly wrong. Don’t you see this as discrimination? Discrimination is never ok, not even when you ‘feel’ it is.

        • when he displayed a clear ignorance of the rampant harassment of women and LGBTQ people, especially on halloween

          • palisades

            I don’t see any display of ignorance. Maybe a little too much moxie in their original comment. Also this person keeps being labeled as “he”. So many assumptions being made in this thread.

    • Just cry it out, bro #NotAllMen

      • >> Anonymous October 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm
        >> Just cry it out, bro #NotAllMen

        Thank you, to you and the others who get it. Really, thank you, because this is exhausting.

  • What’s more appalling is that we still live in a society that this is still very much needed.

    • So many traditional cab drives come from cultures that don’t respect women, so they think it’s fine to do whatever they want to us. Especially if we’re behaving “dishonorably” by traveling unchaperoned by a man. Certainly not all cab drivers are like that, but enough are that I would not put myself in a situation where I’m alone in a vehicle with one of them.

      • ^^ Now THIS is what I find most deplorable about many cab drivers in DC. I see it all the time. They clearly come from a culture where women are given very little respect, but are we somehow supposed to be sensitive to their cultural background? Not when it comes to issues like this!

        • YES this drives me crazy!! I’ve experienced it as a driver as well as a cab rider. I had a cab driver roll down his widow once to lecture me on how women shouldn’t drive. I’ve also had two cab drivers yelling at me once because I was in front of a building waiting to pick someone up. According to them I should have relinquished my prime spot to them because I’m a woman and therefore inferior.

          • Would you not agree that the problem here, at the core, is not really cab drivers? Come on – are we going to turn an initiative against gender harassment into a discussion of cultural stereotypes (in which cab drivers = brown men)?

            The point is that not everyone will be going to places where there exists easy access to cabs. Or maybe they have to walk a long way, alone, somewhere not so safe, to get to a street central enough to hail a cab. Or whatnot. The problem doesn’t really lie with drivers (and I don’t say that to denigrate anyone’s experience – I’m only trying to express that the problem is a much wider societal one).

          • I personally think the problem does, in fact, have to do with the cab drivers. I’ve had some particularly bad experiences with them and feel much safer among the “brown men” out on the street or on the bus. I also feel that I have less control over the situation when I’m by myself in a vehicle with someone else driving it.

  • Wow. I’m gay and I find the exclusionary nature of these ride offers horrific. No thanks.

    • Horrific? Really? Because a nonprofit providing free rides for women and the LGBTQ community is more horrific than those communities being at a much greater risk for violence and sexual assault. Got it.

  • Men worry about bein in danger late at night as well. I was waking in Noma a few months ago and was mugged in front of the USDA building. I find it offensive that I would have to lie about my sexuality to get a free service. Next year I might hire a driver just for people born before 1989,. Before people go insane the year you are born much like sexuality is not something you choose and honestly I hope this organization gets national coverage for discrimiation!!!

    • Everyone on this thread is driving me crazy. Did you all not read the post? Sober Rides is for ANYONE. That is an option. You also have an option to get an uber or a cab (as a man, this shouldn’t be an issue for you). The fact is, many women and LBTQ folks are in danger EVEN FROM CAB AND UBER DRIVERS so the point of the service is to provide a safe way of getting home.
      Jesus you all need to get over yourselves.

      • Thank you voice of sanity!!

      • From a group that fights discrimination this hypocrisy should drive you more crazy than my opinion. But I guess if someone disagrees with you then they are wrong, racist, and sexist. BTW I just sent this to a LGTQ friend and they agree it is discrimination. Personally I hope to see one of these rides this week and ask then why I am less likely to be raped, mugged, or killed just because I am a man that likes women. As far as I know there is nothing outside of who I hold hands or kiss on the street that demonstrates my sexuality.

        • Your opinion is that as a straight male you are in as much danger of being harassed or sexually assaulted by a cab driver as a woman or someone in the LGBTQ community? If so, that is just completely and utterly false. That is what we’re talking about here.
          You are right that anyone walking late at night is in danger of being mugged or assaulted, but the fact is you just don’t have to worry about a cab or Uber driver raping you.

          • wow strong word there…how is it “fact” that a man won’t/can’t be sexually assaulted by a cabi or uber? There are so many different ways one can be sexually assaulted, why would it be harder for it to happen to a guy?

          • Are you really saying a straight man has to worry about getting raped by a cab driver? Really?

    • Everyone’s in danger late at night walking around. But your risk of being assaulted by a cab driver is much lower than it is for a woman or gay person. Honestly, RightRides doesn’t even have to make this free– I think a lot of us women and LGBT people would be willing to pay for a safe cab service, even if it cost more than a regular cab.

      • It would be interesting if Uber/Uber X could allow drivers to identify as allies of the LBGTQ community. For instance, maybe a Trans person would be willing to wait an extra 10 minutes in order to grab a safe ride from an Ally, knowing that they would get home safely.
        It would be a worthwhile effort for activists.

        • That would be awesome. I’m not sure how they’d verify that a driver was an LGBTQ ally (or non-misogynist) though. Seems like they’d all claim to be.

          • Those complaining: Just because this issue doesn’t directly affect YOU doesn’t mean it isn’t real or that it doesn’t greatly affect others.

          • That’s what the power of Uber reviews come into play. If a driver makes harassing remarks or refuses to drive trans person or a drag queen, the reviews will weed them out and they lose their status.
            Hell, I’m sure the Ally drivers would probably be inundated by straight women in order to facilitate their safe passage home.

    • “I find it offensive that I would have to lie about my sexuality to get a free service.”

      Read that sentence back to yourself aloud and see how that makes you sound.

  • I’m a straight male and I just don’t get the fuss here. There are groups that target their efforts toward certain demographics all the time, so why is this any different? I don’t see anyone getting all huffy and threatening to lie down on the sidewalk and pretend to be homeless in order to get a free blanket or a cup of soup, so what’s the big deal about a free ride? Just put on your big person pants and realize that someone out there saw a need, funded that need and made it happen. If you’re not eligible the program’s existence affects you not at all.

  • Not touching any larger issues that this service engenders, but offering rides to only women and LGBTQ people is a violation of DC human rights laws.

    (Though I imagine the service wouldn’t actively refuse to give a ride to anyone who requests a ride based on gender/sexual orientation)

    • Which section, exactly?

      • OK, after thinking about it a bit, I wasn’t being fair. I’m guessing you’re referring to the fact that the DC Human Rights Act considers “public conveyances” to be places of public accommodations and therefore prohibited from discriminating. Looking at the website it appears to me that this is a bunch of volunteers and as a club surely numbering fewer than 350 the DCHRA doesn’t apply.

    • Unless you can provide a citation, I don’t believe this is correct. DC human rights laws apply to employment, housing, commercial and public space… Where does it say that a non-profit cannot selectively assist certain populations?

  • Some people here are not getting the point. “I can get mugged!” Okay, and so you take a cab or Uber to your door to prevent being mugged instead of walking home. This is what women do, except we often get sexually harassed or assaulted IN the cab.
    That is the difference. It’s not like we are opposed to paying for a cab home in order to avoid walking home late at night. This is not a service to get people from A to B as opposed to walking. This is a service to help people combat an issue that happens INSIDE the damn car ride home…

    • Seriously, there are a lot of willfully ignorant people on this thread. The fact that you don’t belong to a group that is so at risk that you need special accomodations to to get home without assault or harassment should be a GOOD thing, I would think. But no, some people just want to complain about their first world problems and ignore that their freedom to move about the world without safety concerns is a huge privilege.

      • Seriously. If you are a man, you just don’t understand how you get to move through your day without nearly as much threat of harassment or worse. Sure anyone can and does get mugged, but woman have to deal with a whole other kind of harassment that most men can’t even imagine, including the danger of taking a cab alone as a woman.
        Everyone should check out the video of the woman walking around NYC for one day who gets harassed over 100 times. Sure no one assaults her, but as a woman you never know when someone might go from harassing to assaulting and it is a very scary/degrading experience. All of you on here crying “discrimination” really need to think about what you’re saying.

    • “Some people here are not getting the point. “I can get mugged!” Okay, and so you take a cab or Uber to your door to prevent being mugged instead of walking home. This is what women do, except we often get sexually harassed or assaulted IN the cab.”


  • Does anyone know the prevalence of sexual assault in taxi services by gender? You often see the news about this sort of thing, but just wondering if we know the rate it is occurring. Anecdotes are very powerful and I think these fears are well grounded, but I suspect the data will validate this.

    • The vast majority are never reported. So you’re already working with bad data from the get-go.
      I’ve had two girlfriends who nearly victims of sexual assault by taxi drivers (they were able to escape). They didn’t report it, as they didn’t have identifying info on the taxi. And the way the cops act toward victims disincentivize them from reporting.

  • Those commentors whining about being discrimination because of services that address the needs of at-risk populations (backed by much research) – I have a serious, honest question for you: why do you think this is about YOU? Why do you feel the need to become victims?

    If you’re unaware of what it’s like to be harassed and threatened on the street because you’re a woman, minority, or LGBTQ, then this is your chance to realize that the problem exists, and that’s why it’s being addressed. So educate yourself, and try to see someone else’s perspective. If you don’t, for some specious reason, believe the problem exists, ask your women / LGBTQ friends / family / co-workers / anything. Inform yourself. Stop using your own (limited) experience to purposefully invalidate that of others.

    If you honestly think that these programs were created on a whim to hinder YOUR RIGHTS, for God’s sake, take a step back and get over yourself. That stance is one of disingenuous, willful misunderstanding. Nothing is being taken away from you. And by the way, being mugged is not the same as sexual / street harassment.

    Finally, I don’t think that turning the blame onto male cab drivers of other cultures is helpful, either. They are not the reason for these initiatives. Sexist, prejudiced, and harassing behavior and blind entitlement are so much more widespread – you only need to read some of these comments to determine that.

    • Please share that research that you reference, because the stats published by the govt don’t back this up. Young men are much more likely to be victims of violence than women.

      • Um, what?! Please share YOUR stats for this fascinating statement.

      • Young men are more likely to be the victim of sexual assault? I don’t need to see the statistics to know that you’re completely and utterly wrong. You are most likely referring to violence like shooting/stabbing/aggravated assault and I do believe you’re right that young men (probably not young white men in this city) are at greater risk for that type of violence.
        When you’re talking specifically about sexual harassment and sexual assault (which is what we’re talking about here) women and gay people are MUCH more likely to be targets. Not straight men. Please with your “show me statistics.”

    • These are the same people who vote Republican, even when it’s against their own interests.
      They display an incapacity for empathy, inability to step outside the experiences of their own lives, constantly feel the need to be a martyr or victim (usually expressing this by denigrating actual victims of crime and poverty), and have a total inability to think in terms of objective reality based on evidence.
      They need to spend more time on a psychiatrist’s couch and less time on the Internet or a voting booth.

    • Please take your own advice and think about it from a mans perspective. Do you think the streets of DC are totally safe for men? If so, then you need to talk to your male friends or just read the news.

      • Exactly what is your point here? Because men (you might to differentiate amidst that category) aren’t *totally* safe, those groups much more statistically and demonstrably at risk shouldn’t be helped? And it precludes your taking in other groups’ experiences? You’re also conflating “crime” in a general sense with sexual harassment or gender-based violence. As a straight man, are you at risk for being sexually harassed while walking down the street, assaulted for being or looking gay, targeted for sexual assault? Honestly? So the analogy doesn’t even hold.
        I honestly don’t get your argument.

  • While many women and LGBT people may feel more vulnerable, the statistics that women, at least, are more at risk don’t back that up.

    Most victims of robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, and violent crime (by a stranger) are men by a large margin. Women are more likely to be raped, but as horrific as it is, rape by a stranger is nowhere near as common a crime as other types of violence.

    See the stats on table 5:

    • Wow, dude, not only are you completely wrong (see: under-reporting of sexual assault at, oh, *everywhere*), but also, you’re disingenuously conflating all sorts of different things. We’re talking about sexual assault and harassment and street assault / harassment. Can you tell me how armed robbery at one’s home is relevant to the need for safe rides? I can’t tell if you’re being deliberately obtuse or not.

      Also, why on earth do you feel hard done by? Do you have a girlfriend? Female friends? LGBTQ friends? Talk to them. Your rights aren’t being assaulted here, for F’s sake.

      • No, I am not being obtuse. I am stating facts.

        I am also not making assumptions, unlike you. I am female (so, “for F’s sake” we ARE talking about my rights) and yes I do have female friends and I do understand crime statistics, including underreporting of sexual assaults (particularly by men, FYI). Young men are MUCH more likely to be victims of crime than women. “We” are not solely talking about sexual assault. “We” are talking about keeping *people* safe late at night and the fact remains that MEN are more likely to be victims of crime. There are many reasons for this. But to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

        • “Young men are MUCH more likely to be victims of crime than women.”
          That’s because young men do dumb shit ALL THE TIME. Like get in fights, do/deal drugs, be in gangs, and engage in our own acts of violence against others (which usually manifests itself in retaliatory violence). I’d venture to say that the acts of violence perpetrated against young men are not random at all. They know the person either as rival, as a dealer/buyer, or generally someone they have beef with.
          Truly random violence and harassment perpetrated by a total stranger – especially randomized sexual violence – is mostly the domain of females and LGBT victims.
          You’re comparing apples and kale. The violence that afflicts younger men is much different than the violence that is perpetrated against women. Most violence against young men, especially in DC, typically stems from their own bad/criminal decisions.

          • Look at my link again and read the statistics:

            It’s table 5. Most victims of robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, and violent crime (BY A STRANGER) are men by a large margin.

            I agree that men do dumb shit, but men are also much more likely to be mugged or robbed randomly than women. These are facts. I’m not just spouting what I think or deciding that 3 constitutes a trend (like the media), but looking at what the actual statistics say.

          • Anon3, I’m far from a quant person, but you’re reading these stats wrong. How are you conflating robbery and property crimes with sexual assault?? This service you seem to have a problem with addresses the problem of street harassment and assault. How are stats about entirely different crimes relevant in any way?
            You are looking at numbers without any context and making false equivalences.

          • No, YOU are reading them wrong. Sexual assault is exceedingly rare – other forms of ASSAULT are much more common (look at the stats, you can’t say that you are talking about assault and I’m not, when the stats include assault). What most of us area really afraid of (and I’m speaking as a woman here) is being mugged. You are much more likely to be mugged than raped, and men are much more likely to be mugged than women.

            I’m not denying anyone any services, I’m pointing out the fallacy in the assumptions behind the services. If they make people feel safer, go ahead, but your assumptions are all wrong. I know you don’t want the facts to get in the way of your beliefs, but it had to be said.

            (And while we’re at it — taxi drivers are MUCH more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators.)

  • Even if you don’t agree with the demographic that RightRides is designed to provide service for, I don’t understand why anyone finds it “appalling” or “horrific” that people are volunteering their time for a little good for the community and a cause they support.

    • Because they are excluding half the population! How is that not something to be upset about? In any other situation this would be outrageous, but for some reason people think men don’t deserve access to the same program? Ridiculous. I don’t think anyone thinks its a bad thing to offer, but open it up to anyone who would like a free, safe, sober ride.

      • On that note, ARE there any non profits and volunteers who have started a regular occurring, free safe ride program that’s available for “any” individual? That’s not based on providing rides for intoxicated folk (sober rides only provides rides for people 21 and up – no one seems to complain about that) I’m just curious…let’s talk solutions and actions, not denigrate the folks that have already worked so hard to get these services in place.

      • Yes. Yes. It’s discrimination, plain and simple. I mean, a man is totally at risk of being cat-called on the street with shouts such as “hey baby fvck me, I’m gonna make you ride my c**k,” or “you slut.”

        Straight men are at risk of being beaten up for being or looking queer.

        They are at risk of being targeted for the clothing they wear (too short, too tight, too revealing, whatnot).

        Yup. Absolutely. Total discrimination.

        Please stop and think about what you’re saying.

  • Reading these comments you would think that 100% of cab/uber rides involving a woman in this city ends in sexual assault

    • Probably more like 5-10%, but that’s still a risk many of us don’t want to take.

      • Thank you. Even 5-10% is too many. Why is that so hard to understand?

        • What is your source for this? You could do with taking a course in statistics. 1 in 20 to 1 in 10 cab rides ends in sexual assault? What a huge pile of bullshit.

          How is it then that I’ve lived in the city for 15 years and taken cab rides weekly and sometimes daily and never been assaulted? Just luck? I did ONCE have a cab driver who made me uncomfortable and made some suggestive comments, but that was once, year ago.

          • I’ve been sexually assaulted twice by DC cab drivers, and I don’t think I’ve taken more than 30 cabs in the 8 years I’ve been here (I’ve been boycotting them since my last incident in 2008 and rarely took cabs before then). So in my experience the lower range of that statistic is about right. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky though.

          • “It hasn’t affected me, so it can’t be a real problem!”

        • Even 5-10% is seriously overestimating it, I’m willing to bet the actual number is less than 1% when you consider that there are hundreds of cab rides every night that end without incident and we hear about these assaults roughly once or twice a month.

          Yes, I know that even less than 1% is too many

          • Well it’s not like most of us victims go around bragging about it to the world.
            But yeah, 1% sounds about right. Most women I know who are regular cab users have had an incident in the last 5 years or so. If you assume they average one cab a month that’s 1.6%.

          • If it was happening on 5-10 percent of taxi rides there would be outcry. THere would be people taking to the streets. That’s practically anarchy. Are you really that dumb that you think that it’s that common? I have NEVER heard of anyone personally who has been sexually assaulted by a cab driver either. I know it happens because when it does it’s in the news, and because bad things happen in the world and in a big city, but it doesn’t happen dozens of times EVERY DAY which would be the case if it was 5-10 percent of all rides.

            Now if you’re talking about a cab driver making inappropriate comments, or even making the rider feel uncomfortably, I’ll give you, that happens more often. But sexual assault? You can’t seriously think that happens 5-10 percent of the time. You’d have to have a seriously warped view of the world to believe that.

          • You also might want to take a look at these stats on violent victimization by strangers:

          • “Now if you’re talking about a cab driver making inappropriate comments, or even making the rider feel uncomfortably, I’ll give you, that happens more often. But sexual assault? You can’t seriously think that happens 5-10 percent of the time. You’d have to have a seriously warped view of the world to believe that.”
            Nope, I’m talking about physical contact. Maybe not rape (most of us were able to get away before that happened, thankfully) but only a few steps away from it. You’d have to have a seriously warped view of the world to deny that it happens to lots of women every day in DC. Just because you don’t see it on the news doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

  • This whole discussion is confusing to me. First, I applaud the efforts of the two organizations involved to provide safe transportation , including one — targeted for people whose experiences with current transportation options are often less than safe. Second, I doubt that Right Rides will ask for any proof of sexual orientation. If a straight male were to request a ride from a service targeted towards women and LGBTQ people, I’d imagine that he’d get one without any questions or fuss. I would imagine that the number of straight males who would request the service would be small for a variety of reasons, including having multiple alternative options for transportation — including SoberRide.

  • I think it is great that women and the LGBT community have a guaranteed way to get home safely on such a crazy night. I’ve often wondered why such a service hasn’t been turned into a year-round business. Turns out that it has:

  • Why don’t we make a cab service just for straight guys. That would go well.

    • Yes. Straight males are definitely marginalized in our society.
      Why is the idea of helping those in need so hard to swallow? Because it doesn’t affect YOU? Then be glad. Not everyone has your experience. Take a step back and think about that.

    • No one is stopping your collective “we” from giving it a try! I disagree that it would be successful, but then again I also was an XFL naysayer. Best of luck

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