DoorDash announces new safety features for Dashers

Join senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar in this week’s roundup. This week we’ve got new safety features for Dashers, Lyft expanding the perks of their monthly subscription-based membership and more. Keep reading for the latest coverage. 

How We’re Making Dashing Even Safer (DoorDash News)

Summary: We care deeply about the safety and wellbeing of all Dashers. Every day, Dashers complete millions of deliveries that connect and empower local communities. The overwhelming majority of deliveries – more than 99.99% – are completed without any safety-related incident at all. 

We’re proud of the fact that for so many Dashers, especially women, safety is a key reason why DoorDash is their platform of choice. Last year’s national Dasher survey found 97% of female Dashers and 95% of male Dashers prefer delivery over rideshare in part because they believe it’s safer. It reflects the robust safety measures we’ve put in place including free occupational accident insurance if a Dasher is injured on the job and a dedicated 24/7 Trust & Safety team. 

While we have made strong progress, we’re clear-eyed about safety and recognize there will always be more work to be done to help make dashing as safe as possible. That’s why our teams are constantly working on new technology and safety features to help Dashers stay safe before, during, and after every dash. 

A year ago, we launched SafeDash™, an in-app safety toolkit powered by ADT, that helps Dashers feel safe and get help within seconds when they need it most. Since launching SafeDash, the response from Dashers has been extremely positive: a recent survey found that because of SafeDash 36% of Dashers say they dash more often and 30% of Dashers say they dash more at night. 

Today, we’re sharing an update on how we’re making dashing even safer with the launch of five new safety features….

My Take: Safety is always, always, always important. And it’s been something drivers have been craving more of since the beginning of app-based rideshare and delivery services. Among the features DoorDash announced is my favorite: SafeChat.

I’ve seen endless posts on Reddit that show a customer (and sometimes a Dasher) being incredibly rude, vulgar and just plain hateful. It’ll be nice to have some regulation and allow Dashers to cancel an order based on this without punishment.

Another amazing feature is the Safety Reporting, which will allow Dashers to essentially block a customer so they never have to be paired with them again. Granted, there’s always the possibility of delivering to the same location even after the block is in place if there are multiple account holders in the area, but it should help mitigate issues.

One that kind of makes me giggle is the Porch Lights Reminders. I think it’s so funny that customers need reminding to turn on their porch lights when expecting a delivery after dark. It’s common sense. I really don’t see this reminder actually helping, but let me know if you notice an increase in people who turn on their lights for you!

Uber, Lyft to pay NYC drivers more by end of year (TechCrunch)

Summary: Uber and Lyft will have to increase the minimum pay rates for drivers in New York City by the end of the year, Engadget reports. The fare increase comes amid a driver shortage post-pandemic, in large part due to rising operational costs.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to increase the per-minute rates of ride-hail drivers by 7.42% and per-mile rates by 23.93%. Yellow and green cab rates will also increase by 23% by the end of this year.

The commission is hoping that increasing the pay rates will attract more taxis and drivers to the roads in order to serve increasing passenger demand….

My Take: It’s great that the minimum pay rates for drivers are set to increase in NYC. Maybe people are starting to realize that the low pay rates for drivers are not sustainable. Drivers need to be properly compensated for the jobs they are doing.

Lyft announces emergency features and discounted car maintenance for car owners (CBS News)

Summary: Lyft launched 10 years ago as a ride-on-demand service, where customers can order a car and go using an app. Now, the company is offering its customers who have cars an additional suite of services including discounts on car repairs.

Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer revealed first to “CBS Mornings” new monthly membership features for the 75% of Lyft customers who also own or lease a car. With a $9.99 per month Lyft Pink membership, customers have coverage for up to four roadside emergencies per year, as well as the ability to arrange discounted car repairs or maintenance at a shop and also find, reserve and pay for parking within the app.

“It should, over time, be the most affordable way to manage your vehicle,” Zimmer said. 

It’s the next move for a company that started in 2012 and boasted $3.2 billion in revenue last year. But expansion has its challenges: some analysts see Lyft struggling in the shadow of its rideshare competitor, Uber….

My Take: It seems to me like Lyft is focusing on whatever they can to make customers happy and to bring in loyalty. If they have loyal customers who are willing to pay a monthly subscription, they’ll be more likely only to use Lyft in the future and shy away from Uber.

I’m not sure if this tactic will work well. I have no idea how many of their customers actually spring for the subscription service. And I’m not sure this is enough of a perk to convince customers to pay for the subscription if they weren’t previously. A lot of people have roadside service included in their insurance already.

Also in the news…

The Chase Sapphire Reserve now comes with Lyft Pink All Access membership, a new perk worth up to $199 annually (CNBC)

Thoughts: In more Lyft membership news, they are teaming up with Chase Sapphire Reserve to sweeten the pot. I wouldn’t mind this as long as it’s not automatically renewed after the 2-year trial period is done.

Uber’s new Driver and Courier Learning Center playlist (YouTube)

Thoughts: Not sure how your map works? Check out the Uber Driver and Courier Learning Center playlist on YouTube to learn how their map works.

Do you think the NYC rate increase will entice drivers to return to the road? What else could Uber and Lyft do to get drivers back on the apps?

-Paula @ RSG