As epidemic protection In the United States, where rides have been lifted, ride-hailing drivers are at risk of becoming inactive for imposing their own mask rules.
About two weeks ago, Uber and Lift removed in-app buttons that allow U.S. drivers to easily cancel a ride if their passengers don't wear masks to protect themselves from the Covid-19.
Lift driver Randu Gantt said, “This is an absolute statement about what they care about at work.”
The change comes after a Florida federal judge revoked a nationwide mask order in April, which applies to a variety of public transportation: trains, planes, buses and ride-hailing. The next day, both companies lifted their own mask rules. For drivers like Gant, who says he is “waxed at the highest rate” and still wears a mask when driving for a lift in the Gulf, the change “adds a level of complexity to driving.”
If the people in his car, who are not wearing masks, are sitting in the back with the windows open to promote more airflow, then he is mostly fine. But when Uber and Lift changed their mask policy, they also removed the epidemic-era rules that prohibited passengers from sitting in the front seat and allowed an extra person to go on each ride. Gant doesn't want masked people to sit next to him, especially when it's raining and the windows have to be closed. “There’s a lot more discussion, a lot more thinking involved,” he says.
After all, Gant felt even less control over his own car, which was his workplace একটি a feeling that forced him to join a drivers' advocacy group called Gig Workers Rising two years ago. Across the epidemic, front-line gig workers say they have had to deal with angry and frightened members of the public, divided over whether masks are an important tool of public health or a political nuisance. (Science shows that masks, and in particular N95s, KN95s, and KF94s, slow and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.) One in 10 Bay Area riders tried to ride a bike without a mask, even when the mandate was applied, says Gant. .
As the government reverses masking policies, ride-hauling drivers are left to set their own rules. Uber and Lift spokesmen say any rider or driver who wants to continue wearing a mask can do so. In an email sent to drivers last week, Uber wrote that masks are still recommended.
In the United States, app-based drivers are independent contractors, which means they legally run their own business. Theoretically, apps only act as intermediaries between drivers and riders.
But drivers have to follow the rules of the platform to drive for them. These rules include how often they will be allowed to cancel after receiving frequent rides. Drivers who have spoken to WIRED say they are concerned that anyone who refuses to comply with the rules of self-imposed masks will be punished for canceling them. Drivers who frequently cancel can be threatened with “disabling”, meaning they have been removed from their platform. Cancellation rates also affect where drivers rank at the company's reward level. In Uber, for example, drivers with higher ratings and lower cancellation rates are part of a special program that lets them see where they are going before they hire and it gives them “premium” support. Fights to reach the company.