4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020


Uber begins requiring face masks for drivers & riders on Monday

Posted at 10:11 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 10:11:37-04

As businesses slowly start to re-open, more and more people will likely be using ridesharing apps again, like Lyft and Uber.

“When [coronavirus] did hit, I was definitely skeptical on how many rides I should be taking or if I should be taking them at all," said Uber driver Kevin Patterson of Roseville.

Starting May 18, Uber drivers will be required to take a "mask selfie," within the Uber App to verify their face is covered before they can pick up rides.

"I think that’s a great idea," Patterson told 7 Action News. "Honestly I think it should have been happening from the beginning.”

In the early stages of the outbreak, Patterson said he took extra safety measures of his own for both himself and his passengers, including offering hand sanitizer.

Uber's CEO said the company committed $50 million to buy safety supplies for drivers.

A spokesperson from Lyft told Action News it's planning to roll out a new policy in the next few weeks that requires drivers and passengers to self certify they are wearing a face covering, but is not requiring photo evidence.

Uber passengers are also now required to wear face coverings, but the company doesn't have a selfie tool to verify this for passengers yet.

“We have an existing feature called real time ID check, where we ask drivers to take a selfie and we use that selfie to verify that the person who is driving is indeed the same driver who signed up to drive with us. So we have a frame work today on the driver’s side," said Uber's Director of Product Management Sachin Kansal last week in a Zoom press conference.

“Everybody is not going to follow the rules, so I can see a 50/50 split in terms of how the passengers are actually going to interpret the rules," Patterson told 7 Action News.

Uber has made other changes since the pandemic started, including suspending Uber Pool, limiting passengers to 3 instead of 4, and no longer allowing riders to sit in the front seat.

The new "mask selfie" feature is active in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and several of Uber's larger markets in Europe.

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