Homobiles is a queer San Francisco car service with the slogan “Moes gettin’ hoes where they needz to goes.”
Founded in 2011 by community organizer Lynn Breedlove, Homobiles is a sliding-scale, donation-based transportation service for members of the San Francisco LGBTQ community, who traditionally face discrimination and harassment from taxi drivers in the area.
Even in San Francisco, a city with a reputation as a gay-friendly mecca, Breedlove found that all of his passengers “had a story about either being mentally or physically endangered because of their gender or sexuality; they either got something from mild shade-throwing to being thrown out of a cab or even beaten up. I had never realized there was that big a problem.”
Breedlove founded Homobiles as a way to give those in the gay and trans communities a safe ride wherever they want to go for as much as they’re able to pay, no questions asked. Because he couldn’t afford to develop an app for Homobiles, you can order a cab simply by texting a cell number to the service (Homobiles also lets you split rides with other passengers who order a cab, a practice known as Homoshuttling).
Although Homobiles initially met with resistance from traditional taxi drivers, who suspected the service was taking away their business (“Cabbies weren’t thrilled, but I said, ‘We’re the people taking the people you don’t want to take because they’re in ass-less chaps or glitter and they don’t have any money,’” Breedlove says), it seems that the service has since been embraced by the greater San Francisco community. It’s cultivated a stable of regular drivers from the community, and it regularly picks up customers of all stripes, whether they can afford to pay or not. Homobiles is currently awaiting approval for its nonprofit status, and is soliciting donations through its website.
H/T BuzzFeed | Photo by eliduke/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)