By David Licona
Puebla, Mexico, is the latest city to offer a taxi service exclusively for women. Intended as a safe means of transport, the thirty-five strong fleet of bright pink Chevys are driven by women only and will not stop for men. For further female appeal, the cabs are equipped with beauty kits, GPS and emergency panic buttons. Pink Taxi de Puebla has privately financed the initiative, according to an AP report. The regional government, which is licensing the service, has trained more than 60 Pink Taxi drivers (aged 25-45) in driving theory and practice, as well as aspects of car maintenance, such as changing tyres.
Despite the best intentions of the scheme, some local women’s rights campaigners claim that the girly vehicles are promoting harmful female stereotypes. Still, they are certainly eye-catching and for women who have experienced harassment by male drivers in the past, the 24-hour service is sure to offer peace of mind. Similar operations have already proved successful in places from London to Teheran. Mexico City proposed it in 2007, but settled instead for female-only buses and subway cars. If this service in Puebla is successful, there are plans to expand to other cities. If your own town doesn’t yet have a fuchsia fleet, now’s the time to launch one.