(Reuters) – Lyft requires that both passengers and drivers wear masks and go through a health certification program, including confirmation before each trip that they have no symptoms related to the novel corona virus, the company said Thursday.
The step comes from ridesharing companies struggling to generate revenue with millions of people worldwide who are socially distanced by health authorities.
Lyft has previously committed to distributing masks to more than a million drivers, with a focus on cities where masks are required by law, said Angie Westbrock, head of global operations, despite refusing to say how many masks are being distributed were or would.
“A really important part of this policy is that it doesn̵
Passengers are also asked to leave the windows open whenever possible and not to sit in the front seat of cars.
Masks and driver cleaners are distributed through Lyft’s hubs, some of which are being reopened for this purpose, Westbrock said.
Uber, Lyft’s main competitor, has announced plans to implement a technology that requires drivers to submit a photo of their face to confirm that they are wearing the mandatory mask.
Unlike Uber, Lyft only operates in the United States and parts of Canada.
Didi, a Chinese carpool agency, pays to install plastic barriers in cars to protect drivers and drivers.
Westbrock said that Lyft “is always looking for new technology and thinking about ways to improve health and safety” and that Thursday’s announcement “is the first step and a really important foundation to build on … if that Situation further developed “.
Nicole Moore, a part-time Lyft driver and volunteer at Drivers United, an advocacy group representing hail riders in the U.S., said that many drivers could not access the promised masks and had to buy their own.
The requirements also place drivers under an obligation to enforce the new rules, she said.
Lyft “does not do what it needs to do to protect its brand and the people who work for it who generate the money they use,” said Moore.
A company policy like installing plastic barriers “would be a big help,” she added.
Lyft said in its call for profit on Wednesday that the U.S. driver base improved more than 20% last month from the bottom hit by coronaviruses, and that Americans will turn to the hailstorm as the first opportunity to address income losses Balancing US economy is reopening, helping the company reduce driver incentives and other costs.
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto and Tina Bellon in New York; Edited by Daniel Wallis)