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Rideshare app for women hosts recruitment fair ahead of London launch

Rides by women, for women, goes the sales pitch.

Wilma is a new ridesharing program coming to London, Ont. next week, advertising itself as a company putting safety and comfort first.

“Women are always on guard,” co-founder Terri Phipps told CTV News. “We’re just trying to give an option that doesn’t exist currently.”

For about $15 a month, women and gender-diverse people can join Wilma’s membership program, said Phipps. Starting Aug. 3, they can start hailing rides from others like them.

“We really want to make sure everyone feels very comfortable in the car,” says Wilma’s investment relations director, Farrah Khimji. “Both riders and drivers.”

That means men can only get rides if they are with someone who is a member, and they have to be dropped off before, or with, that member.

Wilma held a recruitment session Tuesday for new drivers, with several saying the “by women, for women” mentality appealed to them over other rideshare options.

“I was just trying to get to work in the morning and the guy wanted to go for breakfast,” says Jennifer Olise, a registering driver of an experience she had with another rideshare. “I don’t want breakfast. I just want to go to work.”

London has had its share of issues in rideshares lately.

Earlier this month, a 55-year-old man was charged with sexual interference, allegedly offering money to underage girls he was giving a ride to, in exchange for sexual services.

And in June, a 67-year-old man was charged with forcible confinement and sexual assault, alleged to have taken place in a rideshare vehicle.

Women interested in Wilma can still sign up by going through its app. The company says drivers keep 85 per cent of each fare, plus tips.

Anyone at least 25-years-old with at least a three-year clean driving record can apply, if their vehicle meets Wilma’s standards. Top Stories

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