Uber, Lyft Suspend Shared Rides Option to Prevent Coronavirus Spread
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Uber and Lyft are temporarily suspending shared rides to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
On Tuesday, Uber hit pause on offering UberPool in the US and Canada, according to Reuters. The option groups you with other customers into a single car to help lower the ride’s cost. However, the company decided to suspend the feature, citing the coronavirus, which has now infected more than 5,200 people in the US.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve,” SVP Andrew Macdonald told PCMag in a statement. "With that in mind, we are suspending the Uber Pool service in the United States, Canada, London, and Paris. We remain in close contact with local leaders and will continue to work with them to discourage non-essential travel."
Lyft told PCMag the company is suspending its own carpooling option across all its markets.
“The health and safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we’re dedicated to doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and base our actions on official guidance,” the company said in a statement.
All other ride options appear to be available on both services. So you’ll still be able to share a car with your friends and family. Uber Eats also remains in operation.
However, the companies said last week they will temporarily suspend driver and rider accounts if the person tests positive for the coronavirus or has been exposed to the illness. The companies will decide to impose a suspension based on input from public health authorities, who have been tracking and trying to stop the virus’ spread.
Both companies have also been handing out cleaning supplies to drivers, although Uber says the supplies have been limited. Drivers who do contract the illness will be covered financially for up to 14 days, Uber says.