San Diego College Students Launch Free Ride Service for Asian Women and Elderly

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Asian women and seniors that fear taking public transportation are now able to get rides reimbursed in San Diego, thanks to a donation-based service started by two college students. 

Last week, co-founders Sydney Trieu and Paul Lim launched San Diego Cabbie, an initiative that covers up to a $30 rideshare fare for Asian women and elderly who might not feel safe walking alone or taking public transportation, CBS8 reported.

According to the founders, San Diego Cabbie is inspired by Cafe Maddy Cab in New York City and Compassion in Oakland, both of which provide rides or cover fares for Asian Americans.

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Trieu, a UC Riverside sophomore, said they wanted to ensure the safety of the Asian community in San Diego where their family and friends live. 

Lim, an Emory University sophomore, said that they are thankful to “have the opportunity to bring a tablespoon version of change into the community we both grew up in.”

Trieu and Lim revealed that they themselves have experienced the fear of being targeted for their race. 

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Trieu recalled her grandmother telling her to hide her Vietnamese, Filipino and Chinese identity by wearing a mask and sunglasses as she was going out for dinner. She noted how the incident made her fear “the real world out there and how dangerous it can be.”

Lim, a Korean American, said that he and his friends have been verbally abused while on public transportation in Atlanta.

“Even a mask can’t cover us, going outside in public has been terrifying,” he said.

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To get a maximum $30 reimbursement for a rideshare service, users need only to submit the receipt to San Diego Cab’s website along with a picture to verify eligibility.

Lim and Trieu believe the community support is what made their effort a success so far.

“It’s really warmed my heart because I really feel the teamwork that we have in the community, it’s not just me and Sydney doing this together, it’s really the entire community,” Lim was quoted as saying.

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Lim also shared how a woman with financial problems was appreciative that the service allowed her to get to her doctor’s appointment safely. 

In a recent post on Instagram, San Diego Cabbie shared that they have so far raised over $1,750 in donations to cover the rides. 

Donations to San Diego Cabbie can be sent via this link.

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Feature Image via CBS 8 San Diego

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