Uber promises 10 million free rides, deliveries to workers affected by pandemic

Uber is promising to provide 10 million rides and food deliveries, free of charge, to folks who are directly or adversely impacted by the current COVID-19 health crisis.

Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, said as much in the official announcement: “Today, we’re committing to provide 10 million rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need, free of charge.”

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Expanding upon an earlier promise

It was just a few days ago when Uber had pledged that it would be supporting the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) staff by offering 300,000 rides and food deliveries, free of charge.

This time around, it appears that the company has decided to expand the offer worldwide. Apparently, it is ready to offer more than three times as many free rides and deliveries.

Coordinating with different parties

According to Uber, not only is it targeting to work closely with various cities across the globe, but it is also looking to coordinate directly with different food providers, as well as healthcare institutions and organizations in order to put the 10 million free rides and deliveries to good use.

As explained by Khosrowshahi, Uber is “ready to work with more cities, food banks, hospitals and others around the world to move whatever matters most to them.” 

Per a report published by The Verge, any healthcare group, organization, or government agency can take advantage of the free rides and deliveries, as long as they reach out to Uber through official channels.

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Coping with the COVID-19 crisis

As a ride-sharing service provider, Uber generates revenues from the volume of bookings it regularly gets from its existing customer base. 

With the threat of coronavirus, however, more and more Uber customers are choosing to stay home as much as possible.

Apart from dealing with decreasing ride requests, Uber also has to make sure that its drivers are kept safe, which is naturally a challenge considering the increased risk of exposure they face every time they transport a passenger from one place to another.

To its credit, Uber has already taken some measures. For instance, around a couple of weeks ago, it made the decision to halt all carpooling requests in the United States and Canada. 

The company also said that it will be granting financial aid to drivers who get sick, as well as those who’ve had their Uber accounts suspended after being instructed by health authorities to self-isolate.

The coronavirus pandemic in America shows no sign of stopping just yet. Just this week, President Donald Trump has already extended social distancing protocols from March 29 to April 30 across the country.

Images courtesy of Uber and Stock Catalog / Flickr 

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