Lyft has launched a new pilot initiative called Essential Deliveries, which aims to deliver supplies deemed essential for government agencies, businesses, non-profit groups, and of course, healthcare organizations.
As announced through the ride-sharing company’s official blog, this initiative will make full use of Lyft’s fleet of drivers to deliver items such as food, groceries, medical and healthcare supplies, hygiene products, and even household necessities to those directly involved in the fight against COVID-19.
Doing it for the front liners
According to Lyft, Essential Deliveries is introduced so that both medical and non-medical front liners can request for on-demand delivery of essential items.
At the same time, the pilot initiative is also a natural progression of the company’s existing collaboration with various medical groups, patients, local governments, and non-profit organizations through its LyftUp program.
Through this program, coupled with funding from Mastercard and other partners, Lyft was able to team up with government officials and local community groups to begin delivering food to those who need it most, while at the same time, support family-owned restaurants within the South LA area.
Today, we’re launching Essential Deliveries. It’s a new initiative that empowers Lyft drivers to deliver meals, groceries, and necessities to local orgs in need.
— Lyft (@lyft) April 16, 2020
Drivers and partners can benefit too
Lyft’s Essential Deliveries also serves as a means for its drivers to continue to earn money even in the midst of a healthcare crisis.
Last month, the company had invited drivers to join the LyftUp Driver Community Task Force, and as of this writing, over 120,000 drivers have already signed up.
Through Essential Deliveries, these drivers should benefit financially from the delivery requests, while at the same time, be able to directly impact their local communities.
Apart from its drivers, Lyft’s partners also stand to gain from the Essential Deliveries initiative. For instance, one of the company’s partners, Dole Package Foods, can now request Lyft drivers to deliver food from its warehouses straight to senior facilities.
Similarly, Army of Angels, another of Lyft’s partners, can now depend on Lyft drivers to deliver school lunches to low-income households.
Scope of deliveries
For now, Lyft is launching Essential Delivers in the following major U.S. cities:
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- San Antonio
But according to the company, the initiative should further expand its reach in the weeks to come as more and more drivers and partners participate in the program.
Lyft, and other ride-sharing services, continue to adjust to COVID-19’s impact. Last month, both Lyft and Uber made the decision to halt ride-sharing options for passengers in the U.S. and Canada in light of the coronavirus scare.
Uber has since promised to give 10 million free rides and deliveries to those involved or severely affected by the pandemic.
As for Lyft, it has began shifting some of its focus to deliveries, as opposed to just ride requests, as evidenced by its LyftUp program and Essential Deliveries pilot initiative.
Images courtesy of Lyft