Lyft offers riders safety tips as ridesharing makes gradual return

As parts of the United States move to ease stay-at-home measures taken in response to the coronavirus outbreak, ridesharing services are hoping it translates to an uptick in passenger numbers.

To reassure both riders and drivers concerned about contracting the virus, the San Francisco-based company has created a short video (below) offering advice on how it wants riders to prepare for future trips. Similar rules are also in place for drivers.

Lyft said it created the checklist after studying recommendations from leading health organizations on how people can best protect themselves from the coronavirus.

First up, it means staying home if you have any of the symptoms associated with the virus, including a fever, chills, and/or a persistent cough.

If you’re feeling fine and want to take a ride, Lyft recommends riders keep their hands spotless to avoid spreading any germs.

“Wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after you ride, or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol,” the video says.

Before you hop in a Lyft car, the company now asks that you wear a face covering, something that you may already be doing when you’re out and about.

You should also sit in a back seat, manage your own bags and luggage, and refrain from asking the driver to share items such as chargers. Lyft also suggests lowering a window to get some fresh air into the vehicle during your journey.

Similar rules also apply to Lyft drivers, including regular hand washing or sanitizing, and the use of a face covering. The ridesharing company said that up to now it’s given out more than 80,000 sanitizing products to drivers, as well as thousands of face coverings, for free.

In further measures to promote safe trips, Lyft last month launched a Health Safety Program that includes a personal health certification procedure where both riders and drivers have to self-certify that they’re symptom-free. It also means riders and drivers promise to wear a face covering during the trip, and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines related to the coronavirus.

To support communities during the pandemic, Lyft has been offering free or cheaper rides for essential trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, or healthcare appointments. It also offered free trips for front-line workers such as first-responders, healthcare workers, and transit staff.

With many people still wary of the coronavirus, and infection numbers continuing to rise in some parts of the country, it remains to be seen whether Lyft’s safety measures will be enough to persuade riders to get back into a Lyft vehicle anytime soon.

Digital Trends has reached out to the company for more information on the current state of its service across the U.S., and we will update this piece when we hear back.

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