Belfast Telegraph

Women at the wheel of new taxi firm
Concern over safety prompts creation of female-driven cabs.

By Staff Reporter
27 November 2004

Two Co Down women have launched Northern Ireland's first and only all female taxi company.

The idea behind the Comber business is to provide a safe and reliable taxi service for women who feel more comfortable knowing they are guaranteed to have a female driver.

The launch of the firm, which has the backing of DUP Strangford Assemblyman George Ennis, comes as the Government launches a campaign aimed at making members of the public aware of the dangers of illegitimate motorists posing as taxi drivers.

And the women responsible for the innovative scheme, Renee Watson and Jacky Reid, say there has been a "fantastic response" to the fledgling business, which has been inundated with bookings.

The pair have seven years experience in the business and say they were prompted to start up She Cabs because of the increasing number of women voicing a preference for a female driver.

"Both Jacky and myself worked as drivers for a local company and so many women asked us for our mobile numbers so they could use us and be sure of getting a woman that we just realised there was a niche in the market," said Renee.

"So far, there has been a great demand for the service from women of all ages who want a woman driver - so much so that we are actually having to turn people down.

"It is no reflection on the service provided by other taxi firms but a lot of women do feel happier getting into a taxi with another woman driving - especially when they are trying to get home after a night out.

"In particular, we have been getting a lot of bookings from parents of teenage girls who are concerned about their children getting home safely and we will always do our best to make sure this happens."

Renee is quick to stress the fact that although the drivers are female, they will accept male passengers and said a large number of fares are from couples returning home after a night out.

At the moment, the service operates primarily in the Ards area and Renee and Jacky are the only drivers but they are hoping to extend the business as soon as possible to cope with the demand.

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