Uber, Lyft suspend shared rides to lessen coronavirus impact

Ride Hailing-Fake Drivers

FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2016, file photo, a ride share car displays Lyft and Uber stickers on its front windshield in downtown Los Angeles. Law enforcement agencies and ride-hailing companies are intensifying efforts to warn passengers against getting in without checking to ensure both the vehicle and driver are legitimate. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, […]

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ride share companies Uber and Lyft have both announced they are suspending shared rides in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Our goal @Uber is to help flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve,” Uber’s Senior Vice President of Global Rides and Platform Operations wrote on Twitter, referring to spreading out the number of infections over time to avoid overwhelming hospitals.

Uber will suspend its pool option in 18 cities — including Austin — in the U.S. and Canada.

Lyft is also pausing its shared rides across all markets.

“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 wrote on its site. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and base our actions on official guidance.”

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