Lyft today announced the launch of Essential Deliveries, a program aimed at servicing the needs of health care and government organizations and non-profits during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Launching today, the service will use drivers to deliver a variety of essential products, from groceries and meals to cleaning and medical supplies. The ride-hailing service notes the program will be opt-in and derivers will be informed about the nature of the deliveries, which are entirely contact-free.
Lyft previously announced a program to provide funds to drivers who were diagnosed with the virus or otherwise put under quarantine.
The program will be available in a wide range of different markets, including Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Diego, San Antonio and Seattle. New York City, the region with the largest number of coronavirus cases and deaths is not on the initial list. Further markets include North Carolina and Atlanta.
The company is teaming up with local organizations, along with some bigger corporate names like Dole, which is will provide prepackaged foods. The program follows the launch of the LyftUp Driver Community Task Force, an opt-in service asking drivers how they want to pitch in during the crisis. Some 120,000 have signed up.