Lyft is forming a new Safety Advisory Council as part of another attempt to make its ridesharing service safer. This advisory council will also advise the company on its current and planned safety initiatives.
The Safety Advisory Council will include representatives from the R**e, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), and “It’s On Us”, a public awareness campaign launched by former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014.
Lyft and competitor Uber have both faced criticism for failing to address s****l assault and harassment claims effectively facing a series of lawsuits.
The ride-share service also publicly acknowledges that its response to the claims has fallen short. The company now faces a lawsuit accusing it of failing to protect its female passengers. It’s relatively unknown how much s****l assault claims Lyft has received. A lawyer involved in the lawsuit said:
“The cases are coming to us at a rate of five to 10 per week.”
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In Uber’s first biennial US Safety Report, released in December 2019, the company also revealed it received nearly 6,000 reports of s****l assault in the US in 2017 and 2018.
Safety advisory council part of Lyft’s investment in safety
In its blog post, announcing the Safety Advisory Council, Lyft did not outrightly mention s****l assault. However, the company claims that it’s “doubling down” on its investment in safety, in 2020. With more time, resources and employees working on safety.
In a statement, Lyft’s VP of Safety and Customer Engagement Eman Barhoumeh said:
“As the Lyft platform grows, we are seeing issues that are endemic in our society manifest on our platform and have an opportunity to address them. Issues that are so nuanced, complex and widespread in our society require sophisticated solutions that go beyond standard product design.
She also added:
“To identify these solutions, and ensure they are implemented thoughtfully, we must consider the perspectives of a diverse set of subject matter experts.”
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