Logo courtesy of Safr

Logo courtesy of Safr

Safr, a new ride-hailing platform for women, has announced the premiere of an invitation-only launch in Boston, with a broader consumer roll out in Boston planned for March 1.

As a service connecting female drivers exclusively with female riders, Safr’s mission is to empower women to participate more fully in the ride-hailing economy, according to the company.

Since its debut, the ride-hailing economy has rapidly transformed into a $9-billion industry but women currently account for fewer than one-quarter of drivers on existing ride-hailing platforms and make on average 34% less than their male counterparts.

“While the flexible schedule and added income would be a great option for many women, they have been reluctant to become ride-sharing drivers because of their concerns about safety,” said Stephanie Sonnabend, co-founder of 2020 Women on Boards and Safr board member. “Safr wants to change the paradigm in ride-sharing with a platform of women driving women, creating a safe and empowering opportunity for all women.”

Safr offers an equity program to its drivers with drivers gaining an increased stake in the company commensurate with their hours of driving and number of driver referrals, relative to their fellow drivers, according to the company. The company also plans to roll out a package of financial planning and other supportive services to drivers.

As part of its invitation-only launch, Safr provides early adopter drivers the opportunity to earn enhanced benefits by providing feedback, which will be integrated into the Safr service-model.

Safr’s safety features include a prominent SOS Button for both passengers and drivers, a Color Matching feature that helps passengers and drivers confirm they have connected with the right person before initiating a ride, and a Command Center that tracks rides in real-time to guard against deviation from a designated route, according to the company.

Safr has recruited L.A.-based actresses Alex Kapp and Tricia O’Kelley, who starred on CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” to serve as ambassadors for the brand.

“We are thrilled to be a part of empowering women to take full advantage of the income-generating opportunities and convenient travel that ride-sharing can offer,” said Kapp. “Safr eliminates some of the sense of unease women may feel using existing platforms, and provides drivers and passengers a sense of community unmatched by other apps.”

The new platform will be available for use via invitation until March 1.