“We can just talk about anything”: One driver’s Women+ Connect experience

Sarah Conlisk - Mar 8, 2024
Illustration by María Jesús Contreras

Last month, Lyft rolled out Women+ Connect — a feature that lets women and nonbinary riders and drivers ride together more often — across the country. Before that, the feature was tested in 50-plus markets. To date, it has powered more than 10 million rides. 

In celebration of International Women’s DayRev caught up with Gaddy Rodas, a driver based in Orlando, to see what her experience has been using the feature — and driving more women.   

This conversation has been edited for clarity and length. 

Rev: Women+ Connect came to Orlando in November 2023. What have you noticed since then?

Gaddy: I used to match a lot with men. I didn’t put much mind to it. A passenger is a passenger. But now I would say I’ve been matched with women a lot more often than before.  

I match the most with women when I drive late at night. Things in Orlando pretty much close at 11 o’clock, so I try to stick around until then. I know there’s going to be women calling a Lyft, and they will feel more comfortable if a female driver is there.

How are your rides different with women passengers?

I’m more comfortable with female passengers because they are easier to talk to. It feels like we can just talk about anything. Like, “Oh my god, I like your hair,” or even just talking about the weather. It’s easy.

It’s Women+, so I also get people who are trans and nonbinary, and they also seem more comfortable with a woman driver — sweet and engaged and so open to conversation. 

What have you heard from your riders about Women+ Connect? 

Female passengers love the feature. They’re like, “That makes me feel so much better.”  

Partly it is because they get messages in the app like, “Hey, are you OK? Your ride is taking longer than usual. Do you need any help?” They really appreciate that and mention it to me: “Oh look, they’re making sure we’re OK.” It makes me feel good, too, since I’m the driver. 

Any notable rides since Women+ Connect? 

Late one night, I picked up a girl who was so nice. She was telling me all about her nine chickens. When I dropped her off, she said to wait and came back with a whole basket of eggs for me! I wish I could match with her again because eggs are expensive now!

Who are the most important women in your life?

Number one is Mom. She is a single mom, and she’s my hero. I look up to her in every way possible. She grew up in a generation that was very male dominant — my grandma was the stay-at-home mom raising the kids. With each generation, the women in my family are getting more empowered.