Mexico launches fleet of pink cabs - driven by women, for women riders - to curb sexual harassment
Mexico has figured out one way to curb sexual harassment: Paint taxis pink, equip them with a beauty kit and put a woman behind the wheel. Catering to female passengers sick of being ogled by lecherous cabbies, the Mexican city of Puebla has launched a fleet of 35 pink cabs driven by women solely for women passengers.
The privately financed Pink Taxi de Puebla invested about $440,000 to start the service, and the Puebla state government provided licensing and training. If the program succeeds, officials plan to expand it to other cities. The move has appalled women's rights activists.
"We are in the 21st century, and they are saying women have continued worrying about beauty and nothing more," said Vianeth Rojas, of the Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Puebla.
But the women of Puebla, at least, seem to like the idea. "Some of the woman who have been on board tell us how male taxi drivers cross the line and try to flirt with them and make inappropriate propositions," pink taxi driver Aida Santos told the Associated Press. "They won't have that feeling of insecurity, and they feel more relaxed."
The compact, four-door Chevrolet cabs are equipped with a tracking device and an alarm button connected to emergency services. And, yes, the distaff cabbies provide beauty supplies to passengers on request. Women-only taxis have been catching on in such cities as Moscow to Dubai.
A proposal to create a pink taxi service in Mexico City failed to get off the ground in 2007, but the crime-ridden metropolis offers women-only buses and subway cars at rush hour.