Vehicle rental company Lyft has said that more than 4,000 people were sexually assaulted while traveling between 2017 and 2019.
“While security incidents on our platform are incredibly rare, we realize that even one is too much,” Jennifer Brandenburger, Lyft’s head of research and policy development, wrote in a blog post Thursday.
Figures long promised by the San Francisco-based company included 4,158 reports of aggression including 360 reports of rape, 2,300 reports of “non-consensual kissing or touching of sexual body parts,” 672 reports of “non-consensual kissing of non-sexual body parts,” and 320 reports of “attempted sexual penetration not consensual ”.
Lyft stated in the report that rape occurred once in every 5 million trips between 2017 and 2019, and non-consensual contact with a sexual body part occurred on one in 800,000 trips during the same period.
“The type of security incidents detailed in this report occurred in 0.0002 percent of trips, and more than 99 percent of all trips occur without any security reports,” Brandenburger said.
Lyft says it now has a team of 400 “safety specialists” who are “looking for ways to create safer driving experiences.”
Although Lyft detects drivers for crime and driving incidents, Lyft places some of the responsibility on those who use the app to protect their own safety. “Your personal safety always comes first. That is why it is important to trust your instincts, ”he says on his website. “Follow your instincts and leave the area if you find yourself in an uncomfortable or unsafe place or situation.”
In California, as a requirement of Proposition 22, which gives concert workers wage and benefit protections, all drivers must complete a community safety education course. The Lyft course emphasizes “the prohibition of sexual misconduct of any kind. Additionally, topics covered include the importance of respecting other people’s boundaries, strategies for defusing awkward situations, and how to report incidents to Lyft and access support. “
But the ride-sharing company does not automatically reprimand all defendants or report sexual assault cases to the police. “The decision to report [la agresión sexual] and when to do so is deeply personal, “the company wrote, stating that the reason for this is to give” survivors as much freedom as possible to decide whether and how to report the incident, “the report states.
“Generally speaking, individuals accused of committing the types of incidents detailed in this report will be permanently removed from the Lyft community, preventing them from traveling or driving in the future,” Lyft stated.
The call for Lyft to release its sexual assault figures came after the private transportation app Uber was widely criticized for not doing enough to protect passengers and drivers.
Uber revealed its security flaws in late 2019, stating that between 2017 and 2018, nearly 6,000 people had reported a sexual assault.