Drivers Must Wear a Mask
The guidelines by both Uber and Lyft state that drivers must wear a mask or some form of face-covering. Lyft drivers are asked to self-certify within the app that they're wearing a mask, but Uber has gone a step ahead; it utilizes new technology that requires drivers to take a selfie wearing a mask before logging into their accounts. The technology detects whether the driver is wearing a mask; if the mask isn't there, the app will restrict them from picking up riders.
Riders Must Wear a Mask
Both drivers and riders are required to complete a checklist before booking an Uber or Lyft. Drivers and passengers have to confirm stuff like they're wearing a mask and are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms. Both the cab booking firms are encouraging drivers and passengers to cancel their trips if they find the other user isn't following safety protocols.
Riders Will Be Required to Wash Their Hands
Before hailing the cab, both Uber and Lyft passengers are required to wash their hands. Though it's not clear how this particular guideline will be implemented, passengers will be asked to wash or sanitize their hands before sitting inside the cab. Since it's important to exercise hygiene measures to stay protected from coronavirus, it's a good move on the part of the companies to prevent COVID-19.
Passengers Will Sit in the Backseat
The new guidelines state that passengers will only be allowed to sit in the backseats. The ideal 2 meters social distancing guideline isn't possible in most cabs. However, drivers and passengers can still maintain a safe distance between each other if the rider sat in the backseat.
Windows should be Partially or fully Open
Both passengers and drivers are advised to keep the car windows open as much as possible. It is because if COVID-19 particles are already present in the vehicle and if the windows are closed, they will remain circulating in the space. Increased airflow by opening the windows will minimize the risk.
No More Shared Cabs
Since social distancing is crucial in staying protected from COVID-19, pooled, or shared cabs won't be available anytime soon.
Economy Will Eventually Get Back on Track
For the time being, social distancing and masks are the new norms, scientists are working day and night to develop a vaccine, and eventually, things will get back on the track. In the past, the world has seen many pandemics, and they brought everything to a standstill, but with time everything came back to normal. There are many challenges for people who are thinking of starting a ride-hailing business in the middle of a pandemic. However, innovation comes through tackling these challenges and helps us to get through difficult situations.
Ideal Testing Ground
The coronavirus pandemic has taken away the weight of expectations from the shoulders of startups. Current situations also provide a wide range of opportunities for businesses to apply their new strategies and plan to see the result they produce. It was hard to imagine this in the pre coronavirus phase when big companies such as Uber and Lyft dominated the cab-hailing business, but things are different. Startups can make their mark by introducing a new technology that addresses safety concerns and passengers' health. It will increase the credibility of the business.
Grow and Learn
In normal circumstances, it is crucial to growing while you learn; it becomes all the more important when we are fighting a pandemic. By going through this approach, cab-hailing startups can kick start their venture by providing a lightweight solution that aims at fulfilling the basic needs of passengers. Also, during the pandemic, the safety measures should be at the core of such a solution. When the solution gains popularity and feedbacks pour in, crucial improvements in terms of design and utility should be introduced to increase customer retention and acquisition.