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09 Apr 2021 | 14:25

Uber, Lyft spend millions on discounted rides to vaccination sites and driver inoculation

(Sharecast News) - Uber and Lyft are spending millions of dollars to provide drivers with access to Covid-19 vaccines and are offering millions of discounted rides to vaccination sites for people in need. Despite the rise in demand for ride-hailing services during the pandemic, drivers are still slow to return to their jobs due to health risks and the speed of the vaccination rollout.

This is effectively slowing the companies' efforts to rebuild revenues after the hit experienced in 2020.

At Uber, employees have called drivers who left the platform last year and offered to cover their needs to get them back on the job, Reuters reported on Friday.

The company is trying to address drivers' main concerns - safety and earnings - through mask mandates, a vaccination partnership with Walgreens and its vaccination programs in its pharmacies and $250m in pay guarantees and incentives.

Lyft said it is emailing drivers when they become eligible for vaccination in their states. The company requires masks and offers pay incentives and promotions in select markets.

According to Reuters, analysts estimate that the cost of Uber's vaccination scheme could cost the company roughly around $10m and the discounted rides for people living in struggling communities could cost anywhere from $50m to $100m.

The Uber and Lyft vaccine rides can be booked by cities or nonprofits on behalf of residents, or by passengers through access codes. Drivers receive the regular fare for the trips.
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