Violent crimes against Asian Americans have dramatically surged over the past year, particularly in metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York City. The disturbing incidents have understandably ignited fear throughout the nation, so much so that many AAPIs have been hesitant to take public transportation, fearing they may be targeted in a racist or xenophobic attack. 

“Last week I took the train. It was a 30-minute commute and I realized every minute of that commute I was terrified,” Brooklyn resident Maddy Park told WABC. “I was scared that any moment in time someone might say a racial slur or attack me. Worst of all I thought that if something were to happen to me, nobody would stand up.”

On April 2, Parks launched Cafe Maddy Cab, an Instagram page in which she offered to pay cab fares for Asian Americans traveling within NYC. Parks first put up $2,000 of her own money to cover the cost of taxi rides for AAPIs who couldn’t otherwise afford it. Within in days, the account garnered over 9,000 followers and the initiative had raised more than $100,000, which will pay for cab fare (up to $40) as well as Lyft and Uber trips in all five boroughs. Parks is also accepting donations to help jump start similar programs in other U.S. cities.

“It really opened my eyes to how many people are actually supporting the Asian community in New York City,” Parks added.

You can learn more about Cafe Maddy Cab here.