With federal unemployment benefits expiring many drivers are expected to return to work soon. With the anticipation of many new drivers hitting the road again, public health researchers at New York University in partnership with the Independent Drivers Guild are launching a Coronavirus safety training course for all rideshare drivers.
The course will be conducted via online video seminars with various public health professionals delivering the material to viewers. The course is designed to teach drivers proper disinfection protocols and ways they can minimize virus spread. While some drivers may feel that safety protocols are fairly self-explanatory by this point, the program developers still encourage drivers to log on. Some of the tips that they will be sharing are highly specific to being a rideshare driver in NYC during this time and they hope they can get out the correct safety information to as many drivers as possible.
Passenger and driver safety has long been an important topic of discussion as states started opening back up. Many worried that the virus could easily spread through the cramped quarters of shared vehicles. While we are still uncertain of how dangerous ridesharing is for passengers and drivers there have been many measures taken to protect all involved. Both Uber and Lyft have instituted a mandatory mask-wearing policy for riders and drivers and have gotten rid of their shared ride option.
The seminar is completely free for rideshare drivers with funding for the course coming from the U.S. government’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. While the course is currently only available for NYC drivers, the funding was significant enough that NYU and the IDG are hopeful that the course can expand nationwide. Training sessions will start in August.