By Michelle Specktor, senior researcher at Technion and Galilee pilot site leader,
As part of the Galilee pilot (P3), users test the ride-sharing mobile application called SAFFRON.
Researchers at Technion developed the application several years ago with the support of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Transport. This app aims to provide greater accessibility to Arab women minorities in the rural area of the Galilee region by offering a ride-sharing platform, considering the poor service of existing public transportation.
This pilot is being conducted with the support of KAYAN (www.kayan.org.il), which was founded in 1998 by Arab feminist women with the goal of advancing the status of Arab women in Israel. Kayan also contributed to the creation of the original ride-sharing application.
Because of technical needs the application has been ported to a unified iOS and Android platform. Thus, we were able to implement most of the recommendations coming from the UDM and previously collected from users, non-users, and stakeholders in earlier phases of the project in order to make the application more inclusive and accessible with a particular focus on safety for women traveling in public spaces, as they face threats and violence.
In a controlled testing environment, we plan to simulate SAFARCON app usage among a closed group of users. With respect to privacy and security constraints, we will collect users’ feedback on the informal ride-sharing service, as well as the interconnected mobility app, in terms of accessibility and inclusiveness.