Lyft Expands Health and Safety Program to Include Vehicle Cleaning Guidelines

Drivers who are actively accepting Lyft passengers throughout the pandemic are now being given direction from Lyft on best practices, including this “Clean Ride Guide”.

We’ll cover what the Clean Ride Guide recommends below, but overall the biggest takeaway of this news is that drivers in the following cities will have access to cleaning services by Lyft, either at a Driver Center or available via Lyft’s Mobile Service:

  • San Francisco (mobile and in person)
  • New York
  • Los Angeles (mobile and in person)
  • Chicago
  • Austin
  • Atlanta (mobile-only)
  • Denver
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego
  • Portland (mobile-only)
  • Houston (mobile-only)
  • Philadelphia (mobile-only)

In New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, disinfection will be completely free for drivers. In San Francisco, Austin, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego the first service is free. After the first visit, the disinfection is free with any service or maintenance or $3.99 on its own.

Lyft Mobile Service provides this service in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, and Portland for free, when booked with another service.

Drivers are able to schedule the service through their driver app by clicking the wrench icon the left navigation bar or via Lyft’s Vehicle Service website.

New York drivers: Barrier by REEF is also offering sanitization services at six NYC locations. You can also pick up PPE while your car is being sanitized. Learn more about Barrier by REEF.

Lyft paired up with P&G Professional, the away-from-home division of Procter & Gamble, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), a leader in combating viral pathogens, to compile these suggestions.

Lyft’s Continued Commitment to Safety

This announcement from Lyft comes on the heels of prior announcements regarding driver safety and security, including providing drivers with additional ways to earn money, partnering with One Medical to provide access to doctors, providing safety kits and more.

In a press release on the recommended cleaning process for drivers, Lyft states, “The health and safety of the Lyft community is our priority, and we’re committed to ensuring drivers and riders have the information they need to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19.”

Within the guide, drivers are instructed to follow the cleaning steps to properly disinfect their vehicles in a three-step system:

  1. Riders’ space: Disinfect seat belts, door handles, knobs, seat backs, and any other area your riders may touch.
  2. Your space: Clean your steering wheel, gear shift, rearview mirror, seatbelt, door handle, and any other areas you touch.
  3. See-through surfaces: Wipe down your partition (if you have one), windows, and mirrors.

The guide even goes into best supplies to disinfect your car, which includes the supplies that Lyft has available for purchase through their driver app. It also advises on how long to let sprays and cleaners soak before wiping dry.

Hard Surfaces — Spray all-purpose cleaner on surfaces, allow to soak for 10 minutes, wipe dry.

Glass — Spray glass cleaner on surfaces, allow to soak for 10 minutes, wipe dry.

Cloth and Leather — Hold and spray sanitizing spray 6–8” away from surfaces, allow to soak for 5 minutes, wipe dry.

The press release also states, “In addition to rolling out this recommended cleaning process for drivers to use to sanitize their own cars, drivers in select cities have the option for Lyft to disinfect their vehicles for them.

In San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego, drivers can visit a local Driver Center to receive disinfectant services for their vehicle using a hospital-grade cleaning solution that the EPA expects to kill the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 when used as directed.

Drivers in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Atlanta, Houston and Philadelphia regions also have access to free mobile vehicle disinfection by Lyft’s Mobile Service, our team of mobile technicians who serve the driver community by providing contactless vehicle maintenance at drivers’ homes. This year alone, the Mobile Service team has performed over 6,000 services for drivers.”

My Thoughts

While it’s great to have guidance on what is expected of drivers, it’s still up to the driver to actually follow through. It could be that some drivers are taking even more precautions than what is listed on the guide from Lyft, or it could be that some drivers don’t take COVID-19 seriously and will not put any added effort into cleaning their vehicles.

Publishing something like this might make Lyft look like they are trying to prove their drivers are acting and behaving in healthy practices, but there’s no way to actually enforce this or convince drivers to change their habits.

At first, we also considered the impact on drivers’ budgets. However, in three cities (NY, LA and Chicago) disinfection is completely free. In the other cities and via Lyft’s Mobile Service, the service is free if scheduled with any other service or maintenance.

Note: In San Francisco, Austin, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego the first service is free. After the first visit, the disinfection is free with any service or maintenance or $3.99 on its own. Overall, it’s not a big expense (or any expense) for some peace of mind.

However, most drivers probably already do (and if not, they should!) some sort of vehicle cleaning regularly. Just some of the products I personally use to clean my car include:

  • Disinfecting wipes (when you can get them)

  • Latex gloves

  • Paper towels, tissues

In addition to the other inside and outside-of-the-car cleaning products I already use.

While it sounds like Lyft is doing something great, overall, I don’t feel like it’s going to make any true impact on their drivers’ or riders’ experiences.

Drivers, do you think you’ll use Lyft’s cleaning services or just do it yourself?

-Paula @ RSG