A fleet of 35 pink taxis, driven exclusively by women, are now in business in Puebla, Mexico. The taxis prohibit men from riding, serve women tired of advances from male cab drivers, and attempt to address increasing safety concerns. Aida Santos, a Pink Taxi driver said, “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,” according to the Associated Press.
The new taxis have opened up taxi driving, a traditionally male job in Mexico, to women and required training additional female drivers. Each taxi is equipped with a beauty kit, GPS system, bank terminals, and access to an emergency operator. According to La Prensa, Puebla’s local transportation office has invested 5.6 million pesos ($430,000) into the Pink Taxis.
Women’s rights activists have criticized the service for not addressing the source of the harassment issue as well as its appearance. Vianeth Rojas, of the Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Puebla, told AP, “We are in the 21st century, and they are saying women have continued worrying about beauty and nothing more. They are absolutely not helping eradicate violence against women.”
However, Lidia Hernandez, a Pink Taxi cab driver, told La Prensa, “The people stop us on the street to congratulate us and the women ask us how they can request one of our units.”