Rideshares report drop in riders, rise in food deliveries

Rideshares report drop in riders, rise in food deliveries

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The uptick in food delivery has been a godsend for many rideshare drivers, who are taking fewer and fewer passengers by the day during this outbreak.

Driving along North 2nd Street in Richmond, and you’ll see a street sign designating a certain part of the street for curbside pick-up only.

It's part of the new normal, where dine-in is dwindling and take-out is on the rise.

“Two weeks ago, I was barely doing pickup orders," said driver Jon Lopes.

Before the pandemic, Lopes made his money picking people up for Uber and Lyft, but says those requests are few and far between now.

“I didn’t take any passengers yesterday, and I only took two the day before," he said.

New sign designating certain part of street for food pickup.
New sign designating certain part of street for food pickup. (Source: wwbt/nbc12)

But he and many other drivers are making up for it with food delivery. He says this past weekend every restaurant that he went to pick up an order had the food "stacked and waiting, and there’s usually 3 or 4 other drivers in there waiting for an order also.”

This is the evolution of the rideshare market demand, according to John Pedrick, a fellow driver who also administers a Facebook group called RVA Rideshare Partners.

“[Drivers have] gone only to food service, only because they don’t want to pick up anybody. They would rather spend the extra hours out on the road than, of course, picking up people and transporting them because of the virus,” he said.

Lyft and Uber have also suspended shared rides and providing drivers with cleaning supplies. In addition, UberEats has waived some delivery fees – but also instructed drivers to leave food at the door for no contact.

Other major apps like Doordash, Grubhub, and Postmates have also implemented a “no-contact” delivery for its users.

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