Uber suspending shared rides

Uber suspending shared rides
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Uber Technologies suspended shared rides on Tuesday in the United States and Canada in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Uber users could previously book lower-cost trips by sharing a vehicle with other riders who were traveling in the same direction. However, the option is no longer available for users in the two countries.

“Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve,” Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president Uber Rides and Platform, said in a statement to The Hill. Individual Uber trips will remain available, as will the company’s food delivery app Uber Eats.

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A spokesman for the ridesharing giant said taking further steps outside of the U.S. and Canada would be considered on a case-by-case basis, Reuters reported. The company said it is in contact with local officials and could make further changes.

Uber riders in the U.S. and Canada will also see a message on their app telling them to “travel only when necessary" beginning Tuesday. Uber users will also be asked to sit in the back seat of a vehicle, roll down the window during the ride and to wash their hands before and after a trip, according to Reuters.

The company previously said it would compensate drivers and delivery workers who are diagnosed with the virus or have to be quarantined for up to 14 days.

The pandemic has infected more than 179,000 people worldwide, and at least 7,113 have died.

--Updated at 10:42 a.m.