When riders would get into Trenelle Doyle’s Uber, she’d frequently hear a sigh of relief, particularly from female-identifying and nonbinary passengers grateful to see a woman behind the wheel.
“My riders would tell stories ranging from weird, creepy interactions to being sexually assaulted,” says Doyle, 36. “That’s really where the idea for Go Girl Ride came from.”
Go Girl Ride is a ride-sharing service primarily focused on serving marginalized and vulnerable passengers who otherwise feel unsafe getting into strangers’ cars. Doyle spent around four years developing the concept before launching in late 2019. Having now rebounded from the pandemic, she expects to have a fleet of wheels—many provided by electric car company Forth—on the ground just in time for Halloween, with rates and accessibility commensurate to other popular ride-sharing services.
Where Go Girl differs is in the hiring process. Doyle intends to use her extensive HR background to screen potential drivers, both for their facility behind the wheel and their ideological alignment.
“We definitely will have some cis-gendered males working sometimes. We’re inclusive. But our training is focused on the safety of women and nonbinary folks,” Doyle says, “because we are often the folks who are ignored.”
It’s not just about creating safe boundaries for passengers. As an Uber driver, Doyle has found herself in situations where she’s picked up unsupervised children, tech-averse grandparents and, in one case, even a man in the midst of a heart attack in need of a ride to the hospital—none of which she was trained to handle.
“We’ll also have first aid and CPR training. And not just one background check—we’re going to do them constantly,” she says.
Doyle plans to launch initially as a private or contracted service before rolling out the app for the Portland market. For now, Doyle asks potential drivers and riders to sign up on the website.
“I love to drive, but something else I’m passionate about is people,” Doyle says. “Go Girl Ride doesn’t even feel like work because it’s something that I’ve always dreamed of doing.”