In a move sure to spark many uncomfortable conversations across the city, Mayor de Blasio announced today that all Uber, Via and Lyft pool rides in NYC will be banned except for riders who are a “real couple.”
The new order joins a number of tightening restrictions regarding movement throughout the five boroughs, including limiting gatherings to 50 people or less and closing all restaurants and bars, meant to stop the spread of coronavirus. Currently, a shelter-in-place order is also being considered for the city.
“For for-hire vehicles, we want to protect drivers and we want to protect riders alike. This Executive Order will ban ride shares and pooling of customers. This has been done in agreement with major for-hire vehicle companies such as Uber, Lyft and Via,” de Blasio said, according to the Staten Island Advance. “This does not disallow a couple... or a family that lives under the same roof. Those folks obviously have had deep exposure to each other and it’s appropriate for them to share a vehicle, but obviously not people who don’t know each other.”
Customers will still be able to request individual rides using the apps, but drivers will no longer be able to pick up multiple people along their routes using the "pool" option.