Ride-Hailing Drivers Are Now First Responders

Source: CityLab.com

Uber and Lyft drivers risk Covid-19 infections to shuttle doctors and vulnerable people around. Can they get the same job protections as other frontline workers?

Bazian has been driving for Uber and Lyft in the Bay Area for three years. The work has been slower ever since the region’s shelter-in-place rules — meaning all nonessential services were to be avoided — took effect on March 17. But it hasn’t stopped. Under the now-statewide shelter orders, the private transportation industry is deemed essential. And with fears of crowding aboard buses and subways, ride-hail has become an ever-more vital supplement to the public transit that’s been chugging along down empty streets. The ride-hail drivers still on the road have been left to contend not only with weekly incomes slashed in half, but with mounting fears that by welcoming strangers into their cars, they’re inviting the virus in, too.

Story length: 1,743 words

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