Lyft launches meal, grocery supply service in a number of U.S. cities

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(Reuters) – Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) on Wednesday mentioned it has launched a brand new on-demand supply service to offer important items, together with groceries, meals and medical provides, to individuals in want through the coronavirus disaster.

FILE PHOTO – Signage for Lyft is seen displayed on the NASDAQ MarketSite in Instances Sq. in celebration of its preliminary public providing (IPO) on the NASDAQ Inventory Market in New York, U.S., March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The U.S. firm mentioned the provide may even present incomes alternatives to drivers affected by a near-total collapse in demand for ride-hailing journeys.

The corporate mentioned its drivers might be booked to ship items on behalf of presidency companies, nonprofit teams, companies and healthcare organizations.

Drivers can be paid in the identical approach as for ride-hailing journeys, based mostly on the gap and time they journey, a Lyft spokeswoman mentioned.

However cost for the supply service comes from a wide range of sources, in keeping with the spokeswoman, together with from Lyft, the associate organizations themselves and Mastercard Inc (MA.N), which has partnered with Lyft.

Lyft mentioned its preliminary companions for supply providers included Dole Packaged Meals and a bunch offering meals to college students in want.

Lyft’s bigger rival, Uber Applied sciences Inc (UBER.N), already affords drivers a substitute for transporting passengers with its restaurant meals supply platform.

Lyft mentioned the supply service would initially be out there in Atlanta, Austin, Texas; Dallas; Houston; Indianapolis; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix; San Francisco; San Diego; San Antonio and Seattle, however might broaden to extra cities if the corporate finds extra companions.

Lyft mentioned some 120,000 drivers from throughout the USA had signed up for the supply service because the firm marketed the chance on March 20.

New York Metropolis, the most important ride-hailing market in the USA, has employed taxi and app-based drivers to ship meals to those that can not depart their houses as a consequence of well being situations or different considerations through the coronavirus outbreak.

New York Mayor Invoice de Blasio mentioned at a information convention on Wednesday that town has employed 11,000 drivers who receives a commission $15 per hour and obtain reimbursements for gasoline mileage and tolls.

The coronavirus disaster has uncovered the weak standing of impartial contract staff that Lyft and different gig financial system corporations similar to Uber, GrubHub Inc (GRUB.N), DoorDash Inc and Postmates Inc depend on.

Not like staff, these staff usually don’t obtain advantages, together with well being protection, sick pay, unemployment and minimal pay.

Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis

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