A new, pink taxi fleet driven by women and exclusively for female passengers will soon be on the streets of Melbourne. Harry Katsiabanis, owner of TaxiLink, who has dubbed the initiative Taxi Link Pink, is hoping to recruit 50 female drivers for the new pink fleet. The new pink cabs are a direct response to alarming reports of solo female riders being sexually assaulted by taxi drivers late at night. Victoria’s tax authority receives about three complaints a month from female passengers that range from intimidating behavior to assault.
Female drivers will be trained and hired under the same conventional agreement as drivers in the regular taxi fleet and can pick up female customers on the street in addition to receiving work from a call center. Katsiabanis says 58 percent of clientele are female and the company’s few female drivers cannot keep up with demand.
TaxiLink will need an exemption from the equal opportunity laws in place prior to putting the pink taxi fleet on the street.