Uber drivers take extra steps to disinfect vehicles, but face uncertainty amid pandemic

Coronavirus

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Uber and Lyft drivers are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One driver, Betty Green, has a sign that reassures passengers her vehicle is clean.

She asks every passenger to leave the door open when they exit, so she can go in right away to disinfect every surface the passenger touched. That includes the door handle and seat belt. She sprays down the seat as well.

“We just want to make sure not only they stay healthy, but we stay healthy as well,” Green said.

The demand for rides has gone steeply downhill amid the pandemic.

“It’s very concerning because the normal, I’m doing 15 to 20 rides a day, I’m doing two to three rides now,” Philip Jennison, another driver, said.

Green, Jennison, and another driver, Herschel Ham, all say Uber is their primary source of income, making it a very uncertain time.

“I’m very worried,” Green said.

All the cleaning supplies they’re using are paid for out of pocket.

“Even though gas prices are low, by the time you spend the gas prices and the upkeep on your vehicle, everything comes out of our pockets. Our disinfectants and everything that we’re putting on,” Jennison said.

Uber’s website says they’re working to provide drivers with disinfecting supplies, but supplies are limited. They’ll prioritize for drivers in cities with the greatest need.

Lyft is partnering with a company to distribute hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies to drivers. Their website says they’ll let drivers know if those are available in their city.

For more information on how each company is responding, click here for Uber and here for Lyft.

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