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Popular Saudi Arabian Taxi App Registers Women Drivers

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Nissan NV200 taxiWhen Saudi Arabian women get their licenses in June, they will be able to move around the country unlike ever before. Besides the simple ability to get behind the wheel of a car and move, women will be able to use cars to help better themselves off the road as well. They can drive to school or to work, or they could even use the cars as an office. It seems that several ladies are jumping at that chance, if driver signups for one ride-hailing app are any indication.

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Careem is a taxi app based in the UAE, but it boasts millions of users in Saudi Arabia. The app opened up registration for female drivers this month ahead of the driving ban being lifted in the summer, and more than 1,000 women signed up for the job. App co-founder Magnus Olsson told Thomson Reuters that he is encouraged by the sign up numbers and his company is hoping for at least 100,000 women drivers in a year’s time.

Careem and Uber are as popular as they are in Saudi Arabia because of a lack of public transportation. Even if a woman does not feel ready enough to get her own license, she will probably feel more at ease in a taxi driven by a woman in this largely gender-segregated society. The country has a high unemployment rate of 12.8% according to The Independent, with 80% of that number being women. While letting women drive is a big social change in the Middle Eastern nation, it might also go a long way to easing some of its economic woes.

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While we remain optimistic about women driving in June, we’re withholding final judgment about this new freedom and its actual impact until after women are holding their licenses in their hands.

News Source: The Independent