Uber and Lyft, the country’s two largest rideshare companies, have both suspended their group rideshare services in response to increasing coronavirus concerns.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve,” said Andrew Macdonald, an Uber executive. “We remain in close contact with local leaders and will continue to work with them to discourage nonessential travel.”
Via has suspended shared rides in New York City, but will offer individual rides in line with the Mayor’s mandate at 20 percent off.
In other cities, Via has reduced the total passenger count of our shared rides to provide for proper social distancing in line with CDC recommendations.
A Lyft spokeswoman said: “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 pool ride service allows passengers headed in the same direction carpool in exchange for cheaper fares.
Because of the public health guidance concerns, city officials across the country are recommending the public avoid nonessential travel and remain six feet apart from each other.
Uber is also sending messages to passengers in its app encouraging them to travel only when necessary.
Uber and Lyft are both headquartered in San Francisco, which has initiated some of the strictest restrictions on movement and business in the country because of the coronavirus.
“No one should be riding around in a car full of strangers right now. We are thankful that Uber and Lyft listened to drivers’ concerns and put the health of the community first,” said Moira Muntz, spokeswoman for The Independent Drivers Guild, which advocates for thousands of drivers in New York City.