Ride-Sharing During a Crisis
Ride-sharing? Not during a pandemic.
Ride-hailing company Lyft will be piloting its new meal delivery option amidst the COVID-19 crisis, which will provide the San Francisco Bay Area senior citizens and low-income students with government-funded food options. Rather than the standard delivery options, most services in the industry provide, Lyft is attempting to maximize its impact on the community. It’s no surprise that ride-hailing apps are currently experiencing a decline in usage due to COVID-19; that’s why Lyft decided to broaden their service by delivering government-funded food to the elderly/students, as well as medical supplies on-demand, and transporting (low-income) patients who do not need an ambulance to medical facilities.
Thankfully for those riding with drivers, the CEO of Lyft had over 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizer sent to drivers around the country in accordance with the CDC’s safety protocol. But how much does hand sanitizer prevent the spread of a virus? Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer solution with at least 60% alcohol will kill microbes and most germs, with the exceptions of Cryptosporidium norovirus and Clostridium difficile.
While Lyft is thinking locally, Uber is thinking internally; how will they pay their workers if there is no demand for them? Coronavirus has latched onto global news like a parasite, rightfully panicking the masses in the name of social distancing. Sadly, with this pandemic, ride-hailing is out of reach as more and more people get infected from being just a little too close with one another. For Uber drivers who have been infected, are laid off or quarantined, Uber is providing 14 days of paid leave.
Fortunately, Uber has branched into a new endeavor, food deliveries. Since Uber’s decline in ride-sharing, the company has mostly shifted into Uber Eats, a food delivery service. In an effort to support local restaurants, Uber Eats has waived delivery fees for independent, local restaurants in order to boost their business since COVID-19’s impact has caused in-restaurant dining to slow down to a halt. Uber Eats has also pledged to provide free delivery to over 300,000 healthcare workers and first responders in the U.S. and Canada.
In times of a crisis, the community must come together (but also remain a reasonable distance apart) to help each other through the hard times.