It is no secret that transportation methods are changing for many Californians. No longer are people choosing outdated ways and means to get around town, but instead, they are now relying on the ease, availability and safety of ridesharing apps like Uber. The popularity of ridesharing apps is growing – not only for riders, but more and more people are choosing to become driver partners as well. In fact, in the Bay Area alone, more than 20,000 people now drive for Uber.

Take me for example. As a driver partner with Uber for nearly a year, it has been a great experience, a wonderful way to supplement my income and allowed for me to be a stay-at-home mom. Before becoming a driver partner, I worked in accounts payable. Once my daughter was born, I realized that I wanted to spend more time with her so I decided to leave my job. However, funds quickly became scarce, and I realized that I needed to help support my family. So, my dad suggested becoming a driver partner with Uber because of the flexible schedule, and I’ve been driving ever since.

As a stay-at-home mom, being a driver partner has allowed me to be my own boss and own my own business, which is perfect because no one dictates when I have to report to work and how many hours I am are required to stay there. Plus, Uber allows me to have my “me” time, and have conversations with other adults about their jobs, the economy, and our community. This has inspired me to consider returning to school in a few years.

Basically, being a driver partner is a win, win – I make good money, pick my hours, spend quality time with my daughter and am in control of my future.

However, as a woman driver, I have often been asked how safe I feel while I am out driving. Personally, I have never felt threatened or unsafe while driving – which I am sure is the same for many woman drivers. That is in large part due to the technology behind Uber. Basically, GPS tracks every ride, and every rider and driver know who the other person is before a ride even begins. The feedback system keeps everyone accountable and it is a great safety technological advance that was not possible a few years ago with traditional modes of transportation. Safety is built in.

For example, there is no need to carry cash because everything is done through the app. We do not pick up “hail” fares on the street, as riders are required to request rides through the app. Evan before a ride is accepted, drivers receive a clear rating of the passenger, which is a good record of feedback from every previous ride. Lastly, with the app, the rider is tied to an identity through their credit card and smart phone.

From a safety standpoint, these features give me the assurance I need to confidently partner with Uber. And the knowledge of all of these innovative safeguards is the best preventative factor for people to do bad things. I feel empowered knowing all of these features are in place for me and my passengers,

I know we often hear from the loudest people, especially those who feel threatened by the new business competition. But what Uber has done is set an industry safety standard. The competition taxis are feeling from ridesharing technology apps is forcing everyone to raise the bar for safety.

Ultimately, Uber is a strong community partner that offers a new type of opportunity – especially for a stay-at-home mom – that did not exist 5 years ago. I am an entrepreneur and that is why I drive.