Uber, Lyft suspend rideshare services in U.S. and Canada

Andrew Cummings
March 18, 2020

Uber and Lyft are halting pooled rides in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Beginning on Tuesday, Uber users in the USA and Canada will also see a message reminding them to consider if the ride they plan to book is essential and to "travel only when necessary", images provided by Uber showed.

Uber Pool rides are no longer operational in the United States and Canada, with Lyft Line being suspended in all markets it's available in.

UberPool allows riders to share rides with others who are heading in the same direction, according to the company's website.

Both companies are still operating their regular ride services, and UberEats is still offering food delivery.

The Uber Pool option would match up to three passengers together in one vehicle based on their destination, and Uber said in a statement from Uber Rides and Platform Vice President Andrew Macdonald that the company's "goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve" through suspension of the service. An Uber spokesperson stated that similar procedures may be taken in other countries too, but that would have to be evaluated separately. Shared rides are typically less expensive than riding alone. In order to follow good hygiene rules in the current situation, riders are advised to wash their hands before and after a ride, and also, if possible, to open the window to provide clean air in the vehicle.

"The health and safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we're dedicated to doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19", Lyft said in a statement, using the medical name for the coronavirus disease.

As of Tuesday morning, the spreading coronavirus had sickened more than 185,000 people worldwide, with 4,661 of those cases in the United States.

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