Uber has started suspending shared rides through its ‘Uber Pool’ option in Canada and the U.S. to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The option has been disabled starting March 17th, according to Reuters. Uber Pool allows riders to book trips at a cheaper price by sharing the car with up to three other people.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve,”Andrew Macdonald, the senior vice-president of Uber Rides and Platform, said in a statement.
Standard rides are still available, and Uber Eats is still operating. However, Uber says that it is in contact with local authorities in case operations need to be adjusted.
Users will also now start to see a message on the app that reminds them to reconsider if the ride they are going to book is actually essential. The app will suggest that users “travel only when necessary.”
Further, riders are being asked to wash their hands before and after a ride, and to roll down the window to improve ventilation.
Uber has recently updated its sick leave program to aid drivers who are unable to work because of the coronavirus. The company is offering 14-days of paid sick leave based on a driver’s average earnings.
It is reported that Uber will average the driver’s previous six months of earnings to determine how much they’ll make during the time off.