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Uber and Lyft have suspended shared ride operations nationwide due to the coronavirus outbreak, while Via has followed suit in New York City and is offering a 20 percent discount on private rides.
The policies will remain in effect until further notice. Via’s pooled ride service is currently available in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, where it also operates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to primarily occur between people who are within six feet of each other, a distance that’s nearly impossible to maintain within a passenger car.
Uber and Lyft have posted a list of measures that they are taking to address the issue, which includes helping to provide drivers with sanitizers as possible, suspending drivers who have tested positive for the virus and asking riders ride with the windows down when possible to increase ventilation and not to travel with them at all if they are sick.
Both companies are offering some level of financial assistance to infected drivers who are required to enter quarantine.
Google-owned Waymo has also suspended its Waymo One ride-hailing pilot in the Phoenix metro area, which features self-driving cars with backup drivers.