RightRides DC (RRDC) is a program of Collective Action For Safe Spaces (CASS), a non-profit organization that empowers people in the DC metropolitan area to build a community free of public sexual harassment and assault, more commonly known as street harassment. This program offers free, safe, late-night rides home to women, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals. Our motto is, “Getting home safe shouldn’t be a luxury.” The program is supported by one part-time, paid staff; the program is possible because of our incredible volunteers and a partnership with Zipcar. Our next service date is July 4.
The need for RRDC was demonstrated in a 2013 survey of nearly 300 potential RRDC users (women and LGBTQGNC-identifying people living in DC). 84% of respondents had experienced public sexual harassment while walking, biking, taking public transit, or taxi cabs, ranging from threatening comments to sexual assault. 85% of respondents use public transportation because it is cheaper than taxis or car services; however, the majority of respondents don’t feel safe while using DC public transit late at night by themselves. Access and affordability problems are magnified in traditionally underserved areas east of the Anacostia River.
RightRides DC strives to provide safe rides to the people who need it most, while training volunteers to take their public safety into their own hands and become community leaders. To meet these goals, we are upping outreach in Wards 7 and 8 for riders and volunteers. On our most recent service date, 20% of our riders resided in Wards 7 and 8, and for our next service date, we want to do even better. With the Awesome Foundation’s support, we will be able to continue our important service and expand our outreach in the following ways: 1) our Programs Fellow will meet with three new community partners in Wards 7 and 8; 2) we will table at one community event in Ward 7 or 8; and 3) we will speak at four ANC meetings in Wards 7 and 8.
Funded by Washington, DC (May 2015)