AGF Wheel Woman
By Tina McCarthy Wheel Women Founder and Senior Coach
Delivery riders are driving the gig economy. From dinners to groceries, alcohol and even household convenience items, they are helping make our lives more convenient and enjoyable. But there’s also a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make your delivery quick, convenient and most importantly safe.
For example, delivery drivers sometimes face busy or congested roads, road works and traffic deviations, and aggression from other road users. Road and city infrastructure is also often not very bike friendly. But no matter what the conditions, they are out there and should be supported so they have a safe and rewarding experience.
The mission of the Amy Gillett Foundation is to see safer roads for all users and a sharing of infrastructure in a safe and meaningful way for everyone. This works perfectly alongside the mission of Wheel Women to deliver skills training and educate cyclists to be confident and safe riders who understand their place on the road. The role of both is to prevent accidents from occurring. So, it seemed a perfect match to get together and develop a program that strives to achieve best practice for gig economy delivery companies when employing their rider staff. Safety MUST come first, and DoorDash takes this extremely seriously.
Over the last few months, all three organisations have been working as a team developing a comprehensive and exciting program that puts the riders first. Our part at Wheel Women has been to write the ‘program’. From how riders might deal with so many different scenarios to the basics, of how to understand the road rules and how to use correct riding techniques. It’s been a really consuming project because we are simply trying to leave no stone unturned in what could happen, might happen, does happen!
Getting out on the road with wheels on the ground is what we love most at Wheel Women and the project has led to some really interesting ‘research’ activities…following delivery riders, sitting and watching them, observing the reactions of other road users, looking at traffic scenarios and how they change by the minute. We’ll also be heading out to ‘be a Dasher’ to experience first-hand the role of the DoorDash delivery rider. The observations from these projects will help inform new safety procedures, training and policies so that every Dasher is empowered to have a safe workplace.
As the project progresses, we still have so much more work to do in how we communicate essential information to new riders who often face the challenges of limited English skills or even limited bike skills.
The difference a program like this can make is without question. We will be sure to keep you updated on progress and please follow Amy Gillett Foundation and Wheel Women on social media for updates in the coming months.