The Coronavirus Pandemic has hit us all in one way or another, whether it’s your job requiring you to work from home or if you’ve had the misfortune to lose a friend or family member due to this virus. Rideshare is one industry that has been hit hardest from the effects of the shelter-in-place mandated by state and federal governments.
To further flatten the curve and reduce the spread of Covid-19, Uber and Lyft are now requiring their drivers and passengers to wear a face mask. Using their apps, drivers and passengers will be required to confirm that they are wearing a mask by taking a selfie-style photo. Those who do not agree to the new policies will have their accounts deactivated.
The news comes as Lyft and Uber are beginning to dig themselves out of a downward spiral that has left both rideshare companies flat-footed with a 60% – 80% decrease in ride requests. For most companies, they would be simply shut their doors and figure out how to start anew, however Uber is lucky that it can pivot to it’s UberEats program where drivers can deliver food from local restaurants.
Uber has begun shipping face masks to it’s drivers that are still on the road providing trips to essential workers like hospital staff and grocery store employees.
“Today, we continue to ask riders to stay home if they can, while shipping safety supplies to drivers who are providing essential trips,” an Uber spokesperson said in an email. At the same time, our teams are preparing for the next phase of recovery, where we will all have a role to play. We’ll communicate updates directly to users when ready, but in the meantime we continue to urge all riders and drivers to wear masks or face coverings when using Uber.”
In a statement, a Lyft spokesperson said, “We’ve also ordered hundreds of thousands of cloth face coverings for drivers and have been making them available to drivers at no cost to them.” Even though all Lyft Hubs have been closed for weeks, Lyft DC has begun handing out hand sanitizer to their drivers.
We look forward to the day that we can put down the masks and give friends a high five without thinking twice about it.