[By Shannon Bond]
Uber is pausing its pool service, and Lyft is suspending its shared rides feature in the United States and Canada in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Those services let passengers headed in the same direction carpool in exchange for cheaper fares.
But as cities tell people to avoid nonessential travel and stay at least 6 feet away from one another, Uber and Lyft say they are supporting public health guidance.
“Our goal is to help flatten the curve of community spread in the cities we serve,” said Andrew Macdonald, an Uber executive. “We remain in close contact with local leaders and will continue to work with them to discourage nonessential travel.”
A Lyft spokeswoman said: “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. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and base our actions on official guidance.”
Both companies are still operating their regular ride services, and UberEats is still offering food delivery.
Uber is also sending messages to passengers in its app encouraging them to travel only when necessary.
Uber and Lyft are both headquartered in San Francisco, which has put into place some of the strictest restrictions on movement and business in the country.