After a spike in violence against Asian Americans, one New York City woman raised more than $100,000 to pay for private Uber and Lyft rides.
A recent subway ride left Maddy Park feeling anxious and nervous about taking public transportation, so she decided to take action.
“Last week I took the train. It was a 30-minute commute, and I realized every minute of that commute I was terrified. I was scared that any moment in time, someone might say a racial slur or attack me,” Park told ABC7. “Worst of all, I thought that if something were to happen to me, nobody would stand up.”
She knew that she could afford to pay for a taxi or rideshare but that not everyone had the same luxury. She took $2,000 of her own money and started @CafeMaddyCab on Instagram. The service pays for private transportation for female, elderly, and LGBTQ Asian people. The page is already at over 10,000 followers.
Within the first couple of days of launching the Instagram page, Park had raised more than $100,000 toward her cause. Payments are made to riders via Venmo, up to $40, according to People. Park said one challenge she’s faced since starting the service is that not all elderly riders are familiar with using Venmo. She is looking into a way to expand payment options.
Park is also looking to expand the service to other cities besides New York. “So far, we have one coming up for LA; SF started one on @calikyecab and expecting more people to organize in their own city,” she said.