Lyft Launches Emergency Delivery Programs for Food and Medical Supplies
Helping students, the elderly and others in need during coronavirus crisis
Ride-hailing giant Lyft is expanding its services to deliver medical supplies and food to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new program, which is being pilot tested in San Francisco before a broader rollout, includes:
- Delivering life-sustaining medical supplies and test kits to the elderly, those with chronic diseases and other vulnerable people
- Bringing meals to home-bound students, who normally receive free or subsidized lunch at school, and elderly residents affected by shelter-in-place advisories
- Providing low-income residents with non-emergency medical transportation to local facilities
Lyft is partnering with schools, government agencies, healthcare providers and other businesses to identify people in need and coordinate the services. When possible, the package drop-offs will be contactless to better protect drivers and delivery recipients.
Free “LyftUp” Rides
Lyft also plans to donate tens of thousands of rides to those with “essential transportation needs.” The LyftUp program caters to families and children, low-income seniors and medical professionals.
To facilitate the rides, Lyft is partnering with non-profits and community organizations, including United Way and the National Council on Aging.
In addition, co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green are donating their salaries through the end of June to help support the company's drivers. The executives also vow to help drivers find temporary employment as demand for ride-hailing falls during the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier this month, Lyft and Uber established coronavirus task forces and issued guidelines for drivers and passengers. Initiatives include temporarily suspending accounts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and providing financial assistance to drivers who are diagnosed with the disease or are asked by a public health authority to self-quarantine.
Uber has said that its ride volume is down as much as 70% in cities that have been most affected by the pandemic. During a call with financial analysts, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company is “well-positioned” to survive a worst-case scenario of global ridership plunging by as much as 80% over the rest of the year.
In-car video shows that the backup pilot of an Uber Technologies self-driving car was not watching the road just before the vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian last Sunday night.
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