Uber Suspends Pooled Rides to Fight Coronavirus Spread

Uber Spencer PlattGetty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ride-sharing giant Uber announced on Tuesday that it would suspend shared rides with strangers on its platform in the United States and Canada to limit the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Reuters reports that this week ride-sharing firm Uber announced it would be suspending shared rides on its platform in the United States and Canada to limit the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. Uber’s pool option allows riders to book trips at lower prices by sharing the car with up to three other random passengers traveling in the same direction. This feature has now been disabled in the Uber app in Canada and the United States.

Andrew Macdonald, the senior vice president of Uber Rides and Platform, stated: “Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve.” A spokesperson told Reuters that similar steps in countries outside the U.S. and Canada would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Uber’s regular riding service and food delivery platform Uber Eats remain available but Uber has been in contact with local authorities in order to adjust operations as needed.

Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, did not respond to a request for comment on its shared rides policy when asked by Reuters. Starting on Tuesday, Uber users in the United States and Canada will see a message reminding them to consider if the ride they plan to book is essential and to “travel only when necessary.” Riders are also being asked to consider the safety of their drivers by washing their hands before and after a ride and are encouraged to sit in the back seat with a window rolled down to improve ventilation.

Uber previously stated that it would compensate drivers and delivery people diagnosed withWuhan coronavirus or placed in quarantine by health officials for up to 14 days.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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