Out-Of-Work Lyft, Uber, And Yellow Cab Drivers Can Get Jobs From NYC Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Illustration for article titled Out-Of-Work Lyft, Uber, And Yellow Cab Drivers Can Get Jobs From NYC Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Getty Images)

As life in New York City grinds to a near-halt following a stay-at-home order in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, among those hardest hit are the gig workers and drivers who rely on people to, you know, actually go places. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is stepping up to help drivers by offering food delivery work.

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Gig workers who are licensed with the TLC have the option of signing up to deliver food to people staying at home, the agency said yesterday in an email to TLC licensees. (The email is viewable both on this Uber forum thread and in a tweet posted below.)

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Demand is still small and will be met on a first-come-first-serve basis, but the TLC says it expects that to increase as more and more people need food and supplies delivered to their houses. Drivers will receive $15 an hour, as well as reimbursement for gas mileage and tolls.

Hopefully the move will help gig workers during this time of crisis, as ridership has declined, per TechCrunch:

Meanwhile, there have been reports that demand has generally been on the decline in light of growing concerns about the virus. Lyft, for example, says it has seen a decline in demand and has consequently expanded its services to include delivery and partnerships with nonprofit organizations, the healthcare industry and the government. Uber, on the other hand, has said demand for ride-hailing services has dropped as much as 70% in the cities most impacted by the coronavirus.

All interested drivers can sign up via the NYC food delivery driver portal.

The offer extends to all TLC-licensed drivers, including taxi drivers, the official NYC TLC Twitter account added. And fifteen dollars an hour isn’t exactly a king’s ransom in New York City but for unemployed drivers, every little bit helps.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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DISCUSSION

So why aren’t Uber and Lyft drivers just hiring on with Uber Eats, GrubHub, etc. to meet the rising food delivery demand? Why does the city need to be involved?