Uber has pledged to provide 10 million free rides and deliveries to workers and vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The company plans to roll this out globally, after first offering 100,000 free meals and 200,000 free Uber rides to National Health Service (NHS) workers in the UK.
Uber said the services will be available to health care workers, the elderly, and others who require assistance. It stated “any organisation, healthcare provider, or governmental entity is eligible” and it was currently engaging various interested parties over the offer.
It will be covering the costs associated with delivering food, meals, and rides, including the provision of free Eats meals, the cost of the ride or delivery of food from a food bank, as well as payments to the drivers and couriers.
“We’re ready to work with more cities, food banks, hospitals, and others around the world to move whatever matters most to them,” Uber stated.
An Uber spokesperson said that the company is “working to distribute these meals and rides at scale in the coming months and tailor the offering based on the most pressing, local needs”.
Organisations seeking support with rides or food deliveries can contact Uber at [email protected].
Uber in South Africa
In South Africa, Uber services are operating on a limited basis due to the lockdown instituted by the South African government.
Rides are currently only available from 05:00 to 10:00 and 16:00 to 20:00 for essential travel only.
Uber Eats is currently not operational, as the coronavirus lockdown requires the closure of all restaurants and bars.
The company indicated it was looking into the possibility of delivering essential goods through Uber Eats to enable businesses and couriers to continue to have an avenue to generate income.
MyBroadband has reached out to Uber South Africa to determine whether it will also be providing free rides and deliveries.