The taxi shortage is making women feel unsafe, forcing them to walk home at night. Are campaigns like Home Safe, that promise to pay our taxi fares, the answer?

How many times have you walked alone at night in the past few months, because taxis were either non-existent or too expensive?

Lifestyle, Empowerment

12/6/2021 4:58:00 PM

The taxi shortage is making women feel unsafe, forcing them to walk home at night. Are campaigns like Home Safe, that promise to pay our taxi fares, the answer?

How many times have you walked alone at night in the past few months, because taxis were either non-existent or too expensive?

show that one in two women feel unsafe when walking alone after nightfall in a busy public place, with one in five men saying the same.It is never a victim’s fault when they are harmed, only the wrongdoing of the person causing the harm - and, sadly, there’s no guarantee of safety while riding in the back of a hired vehicle, either. But when the frequently spouted solution given to circumvent

sexual assaultand murder is to stop walking alone at night, there’s a misplaced sense of guilt added to the fear when finances and logistics make it more or less compulsory; that if something happens, it would have been avoided if only you weren’t walking on the street, where you always were taught not to be.

Since lockdown restrictions ended in July, passenger demand has increased with people newly free to resume socialising and travelling outside of their immediate neighbourhoods. However, with thousands of drivers having quit Uber over the course of the pandemic, there are many more customers trying to use the service than there are workers to fulfil demand. headtopics.com

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The company is nowlooking to hire 20,000 new employeesto meet this want in the market. But in the meantime, Uber officially raised its standard prices by 10% earlier this month, though surge charging - increasing the price above the normal rate at periods of high demand - has meant that passengers have felt a strain on their pockets when ordering their rides for months.

In a capitalist society, we can expect that something like this would happen - with there being such a great desire for seats, ride-share companies are at liberty to set prices where they like, safe in the knowledge that those who can, will pay for the service regardless. Plus, from a driver’s perspective, what’s the harm in cancelling on a shorter journey that won’t pay as much when there’s an offer for a more lucrative job literally just around the corner?

But what happens when you don’t have the money for the extortionate cost? Or if you end up waiting for an accepted ride that never arrives? It feels as if you have limited funds, you’re forced to stay indoors or risk your safety and peace of mind when trying to return home by enduring lonely, dark walks.

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From a financial perspective, one recent solution has been proposed:, a crowd-funded organisation that promises to reimburse up to £10 of an Uber cost to get home at night, for anyone who needs it.Read MoreWomen are terrified for their safety.ByElla Glover headtopics.com

If you have limited funds, you’re forced to stay indoors or risk your safety and peace of mind when trying to return home by enduring lonely, dark walks.Founded by London-based student Match Sienkiewicz, the group aims to “alleviate the financial stress which often is the main factor to why women and girls choose to take a less safe journey home” - though it is available for use for people of any gender. With a launch date set for 1st December, Home Safe looks set to be able to contribute to many journeys for passengers across the country, with over £5,000 raised by donations at the time of writing - far surpassing the initial £300 goal.

Hopefully, this will provide some relief to those of whom money has been a barrier to a safe, simple journey. However, this is far from an end to the problem. It shouldn’t be up to the generosity of strangers to fill in the gaps left by an inadequate public and private travel infrastructure - and it still leaves the issue of long, uncertain wait times due to not enough drivers.

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Though their primary goal is to make money, companies like Uber should feel a moral obligation to invest in the well-being of their customers, and do more to make sure to improve their accessibility.But even without considering private modes of transport, existing in the world without the fear of violence should just be a given. We know there’s a long way to go before that’s the case. But until that happens, at the very least, we need solutions for this growing problem that only allows those with more funds (and sometimes, more luck) a means of getting home safely - it’s something all of us deserve.

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If I went out with my friends, I went home with my friends. If no taxi available, we’d walk home together

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