Uber drivers in Charlottesville adapting as COVID-19 presents ride share risk

Uber Drivers adapting through ride share struggles

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Just a month ago, getting business was not a problem for Uber drivers in Charlottesville.

“Before the whole corona [coronavirus] thing, it was real busy with the students," Uber driver Jason Tuck said. "Since, this all has died down quite a bit.”

But now with Governor Ralph Northam’s stay at home order, people in Charlottesville are not exactly ordering Ubers or Lyfts to go around the city.

As the threat of the coronavirus intensified, Tuck made the tough decision to stop picking up passengers: “I didn’t want to carry it home to somebody, and I’m sure the passengers would be leery about getting into the car with somebody with the whole social-distancing thing," he said.

However, with more restaurants turning to delivery systems to get by, Tuck found an alternative solution with Uber Eats. He says many drivers are taking advantage of the surge in food delivery as more people stay home.

“I think the increase in delivery has compensated for that quite a bit,” Tuck said.

Even with more delivery opportunities, Tuck says he is still having to make sacrifices in order to get by.

“I pretty much drive every day now," he said. “A lot of driving and a lot of deliveries, that’s about it.”

Luckily, there are options to keep both the driver and customer safe: “Our customers have the option to do contact-free delivery," Tuck explained. "At that point, what they do in the notes, they would put to drop it off a door or knock, or ring the doorbell.”

Uber Eats waived the delivery fee for over 100,000 independent restaurants in the U.S. in order to support local.

Uber is also offering free rides for front-line healthcare workers getting to and from a patient, a hospital, or a health facility. In addition, Uber Eats is also providing free meals for first responders and healthcare workers.

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