(Reuters) — Lyft would require each passengers and drivers to put on masks and full a well being certification program, together with confirming earlier than every trip that they aren’t displaying signs related to the novel coronavirus, the corporate mentioned on Thursday.
The transfer comes as ridesharing firms wrestle to take care of revenues with thousands and thousands of individuals worldwide below social distancing orders from public well being authorities.
Lyft has beforehand dedicated to distributing masks to its a couple of million drivers, specializing in cities the place masks are required by regulation, mentioned Angie Westbrock, head of world operations, though she declined to say what number of masks had been or can be distributed.
“A really important component of this policy is that it’s not just for drivers,” Westbrock mentioned. “This policy requires passengers to also certify that they’re going to comply with this health safety policy and that they’ll also wear a mask.”
Passengers are additionally requested to depart the home windows open when attainable, and never sit within the entrance seat of automobiles.
Masks and cleansing provides for drivers might be distributed by means of Lyft’s hubs, a few of which is able to reopen for this objective, Westbrock mentioned.
Uber, Lyft’s important competitor, has mentioned they may implement expertise that can require drivers to submit a photograph of their face to substantiate that they’re sporting the obligatory masks.
Unlike Uber, Lyft solely operates within the United States and components of Canada.
Didi, a Chinese ridesharing firm, is paying to put in plastic limitations in automobiles to guard riders and drivers.
Westbrock mentioned that Lyft is “always looking at new technology and thinking about ways to improve health and safety,” and that Thursday’s announcement represents “the first step and a really important foundation to build on… as the situation evolves.”
Nicole Moore, a part-time Lyft driver and volunteer with Drivers United, an advocacy group representing ride-hail drivers within the United States, mentioned many drivers haven’t been capable of entry the promised masks, and have had to purchase their very own.
The necessities additionally put the onus on drivers to implement the brand new guidelines, she mentioned.
Lyft is “not doing what they need to do to protect their brand and the people who work for them that generate the cash that they use,” Moore mentioned.
A company coverage comparable to putting in plastic limitations “would be a huge help,” she added.
Lyft mentioned in its earnings name on Wednesday that U.S. ridership had improved greater than 20% from coronavirus-hit all-time low final month and that it believes Americans will flip to ride-hailing as the primary alternative to make up for misplaced revenue because the U.S. financial system reopens, serving to the corporate minimize down on driver incentives and different prices.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto and Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)