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Uber And Lyft Discontinuing Carpool Options Due To COVID-19
If you haven’t heard by now, one of the main ways businesses are trying to flatten the curve is by limiting the number of people in one area at a time. The term that’s been coined for this is social distancing.
Popular rideshare companies Uber and Lyft are doing their part by suspending carpool services in the U.S. and Canada. While these are the cheapest options for passengers in need of rides, drivers were faced with having up to 3 additional people in the car at a time and began complaining to the companies.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve. With that in mind, we are suspending the Uber Pool service in the United States and Canada,” Andrew Macdonald, senior VP of Uber Rides and Platform, said in a statement. “We remain in close contact with local leaders and will continue to work with them to discourage non-essential travel.”
On Tuesday, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order to ban all carpool trips with the exception of couples and families. He emphasized that you must be an actual couple to meet the exception and not two strangers who decide to ride together.
“At a time when health authorities are urging social distancing, app companies should not be packing five strangers in a van,” said Uber and Lyft driver and Independent Drivers Guild organizer Tina Raveneau in a statement on Monday. “For everyone’s health and safety, pool rides have to go.”