We had written in early May that Uber was planning to require both drivers and passengers to wear facial coverings during Uber rides. That went into effect in mid-May, once they figured out how to ensure that both drivers and passengers would wear masks (here’s how it would work for drivers, and for passengers).
So how’s that working out for them? About as well as you’d expect. “Meh.”
A friend of mine doesn’t drive due to medical reasons and therefore usually relies on the bus to get her to work and back. Kat is someone who is paying attention to the COVID-19 pandemic and is interested in doing whatever it takes to maintain her health. So when she saw that facial coverings were going to be required on Uber rides, she decided a small vehicle with 1 stranger who had to wear a mask would be safer than multiple strangers, many of which weren’t wearing masks (because self-centered, irresponsible, don’t care about other people, etc.), on a large vehicle. So she recently started taking Ubers to and from work.
In the past 5 Uber rides Kat’s had, 3 have worn masks. And the other two? Well…..
Driver #1 actually was wearing a mask when she arrived to picked Kat up but then made it clear throughout the ride that she was not happy about having to wear one. OK yes, we get it. But it’s a requirement of your job so quit your bellyaching. But yes, she wore a facial covering.
Driver #2 was a piece of work. I’ll let Kat tell the story, from her Facebook feed:
Took an Uber in to work today and the driver was not wearing a mask. I thought it was required???
I did give him a minute to put the mask on, thinking maybe he just forgot for a second. You know benefit of the doubt. But he didn’t.
I asked him about them requiring it. No response to that question but he said he would put one on if I wanted him to. I said yes and asked again about it being required. Again, no response. Silence all the way in.
This is Uber’s rule isn’t it? Both driver and riders must be masked??
I saw her post and confirmed that yes, it was indeed a requirement. Kat realized that this jerk must have checked in to Uber with a mask on, and then taken it off, and then only wore it when he “had” to, such as when he had a passenger such as Kat, who was aware and said something.
“It made me mad and uncomfortable, especially since I was following the rules and specifically was taking Uber and paying more for it to avoid getting on public transportation,” she said.
Kat did tell Uber. Here’s what they wrote back:
We’re committed to helping keep our communities safe. Effective May 1, 2020, face covers or masks are mandatory for everyone riding or driving with Uber. We’ll reach out to the driver and take appropriate action with their account. Drivers and riders who repeatedly violate mask policies risk losing access to Uber.
The other paragraph including links to Uber’s new safety standards and a short video (I don’t have said links since Kat sent the message as a JPG)
Her Uber ride home was another story:
Uber ride home completely different experience.
Text driver to tell him exactly where to find me. He texts back, “OK, do you have a mask?” I tell him I do. He thanks me and tells me he appreciates it. He does carry a few extras with him in case someone needs one.
Picks me up, I thank him for starting the ride on a much better note than the morning one. He asks what happened and tells me to report that driver. I tell him I already did.
We chat about whats going on and the small sacrifices to do what we can to protect others. I tip him double what I usually do for that trip. I also take his card for future trips because I know I will be riding with someone who gets it.
OK, all good.
She Ubered in to work again today. Uber driver #4 had the following in his car:
Yay, no problem there. Neither was her ride home.
So of her 5 drivers, 3 were awesome about them and their passengers wearing facial coverings. Of the other two, one had a mask on but couldn’t stop complaining about how much she disliked it. And one only put his on with prompting.
And you KNOW that those latter two aren’t wearing them when they don’t have passengers in the car, which means if they’re COVID positive and asymptomatic (they have it and don’t have symptoms) or pre-symptomatic (they have it and just don’t have symptoms yet), they’re breathing their coronacooties into the car until their next ride. Kat is well aware of this but she figures it’s still safer than the bus, where there could be even more people who are potentially spreading the virus.
So how’s that new Uber ruling going? Not bad, not great. I’m glad there’s an ability to report drivers (or, as needed, passengers) to help keep everybody safe.
***Many thanks to Kat H. for sharing her story!
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary