After becoming a stay-at-home mother, Denise Tan came to understand how difficult rejoining the workforce can be after being away from it for awhile. She also took note of how with so many ride-sharing options popping up nowadays, there was yet to be a full-on transportation service catering to just the ladies.
Women would naturally feel more comfortable being in a car with another women, for various reasons, chief of which is personal safety. So to combat these two issues, Denise thought to start her own service that was geared specifically for the female crowd.
With the help of her husband, Riding Pink was born.
Riding With The Pinks
Riding Pink was launched as a service by women for women with two goals in mind: allowing women a flexible avenue for additional income and providing a safer transportation alternative, other than ride sharing apps and public transport.
The name Riding Pink was thought up by Denise, who decided that it encapsulated the essence of what they were trying to achieve.
“Pink symbolises sensitivity and sweetness while also being a color that females can relate to. By offering ‘Pink Rides’ to our riders via our platform, we hope to provide women a service they can better relate to as their drivers would be fellow females,” said Riding Pink to Vulcan Post.
Before she founded Riding Pink, Denise actually had a career as an auditor with listed garment retailers and even worked in marketing when she was in Singapore. Currently she handles the marketing and general business strategy for Riding Pink. She still occasionally jumps on board as a Pink Driver when they receive overwhelming requests for rides.
Booking A Pink Ride
As it stands now, Riding Pink has yet to launch their mobile app but their services can be manually booked. Interested customers can contact them via PM or WhatsApp to the number they’ve provided. Riding Pink will then proceed to find a driver for the customer from their database of registered drivers.
Fare rates are based on a minimum fare they’ve set along with distance and some additional allowances for requests during peak hours.
“The only set charges we really have is RM1 for a base rate and RM1 for pre-booking. In general, we’ll propose a fare based on our calculator whereby the driver and rider can then negotiate from there. Both sides are allowed to counterpropose until they can come to agree on a price,” said Riding Pink.
For those who wish to apply as drivers, Riding Pink shared that the process will be as simple as possible without negating basic safety requirements. Besides the obvious condition of being a woman with a valid driver’s license, the driver also has to be insured for the vehicle they’re driving and the vehicles registered must be 9 years old or newer.
The beta version of their mobile app will be launched very soon and they hope the full app will be available to be accessed subsequently after.
“Surprisingly, we aren’t even in beta testing mode of the app yet but responses have been overwhelming,” said Riding Pink.
Starting A Pink Revolution
Riding Pink only started their groundwork back in July this year. Early September saw the launch of their Facebook page where they began inviting people to validate their idea and recruit drivers along the way. Within a month, they felt that they had enough drivers to launch their pre-booking services to their family and friends.
“The idea took off extremely well and on October 10, we decided to take in requests from the public. To celebrate the launch, we provided free transport to a couple of orphanage homes in PJ and Klang to get to a charity event in Jalan Tun Razak,” said Riding Pink.
Most of the drivers registered with Riding Pink happen to be stay-at-home mothers, single parents, and working adults seeking extra income which fits with the theme of Riding Pink looking to further empower women.
“We have registered drivers across all races and from as young as 21 years old to 60 years old, as we believe in helping as many women out there as possible. Feedback from these drivers is that Riding Pink has been of great help in empowering them with a source of income,” said Riding Pink.
Another service they provide is a hotline operating up to midnight. The purpose of this hotline is to provide a support service for any women in need with transportation. Riding Pink also considers the safety of their drivers where they’re allowed to turn down requests if they feel uncomfortable or in doubt of their personal safety.
Though they have yet to launch their app, the response they’ve received so far from fellow women to their platform has encouraged them further. At this moment, besides ad-hoc pre-booking requests, Riding Pink also provides customised transportation services for longer-term bookings. They encourage feedback from all their rides in order to further improve their service and adapt solutions to make their platform better.
“With Riding Pink, we hope to contribute to our society moving forward. Denise has always believed in charity for the less fortunate so once our business operations are smoother, we hope to be able to contribute to the less fortunate on a more active basis. The recent orphanage pick-up we did is only just the beginning,” said Riding Pink when talking about their long-term goals.
As a woman myself, I do appreciate this initiative taken by a fellow woman who understands the paranoia that comes with ride-sharing services at times. It may be too early to judge on how far Riding Pink will be able to go but with the launch of their app, I believe they have the potential to stand as a competitor against the other popular ride-sharing services.