All Via private rides are 20% off as NYC bans all shared rides

Mar 18, 2020

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Via, a popular ridesharing service, announced March 17 that it would suspend shared rides in New York City amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more. 

If you’re unfamiliar, Via matches riders headed in the same direction to a single vehicle, usually a passenger van. Via is one of cheaper ways New Yorkers can get to and from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) for as little as $15 round-trip in a shared vehicle.

To ease the burden for travelers who still need to use the app even during social distancing, Via is offering a discount on private rides.

“For those who do need to travel,” Via said in an email to users, “We remain as committed as ever to providing an affordable, convenient, and efficient option during these difficult times — as long as our shared rides are paused, all Private Via rides will be 20% off.”

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday signed an executive order banning shared rides in New York City. That means only one person customer may travel in a rideshare at a time unless you’re a couple.

“This does not disallow a couple… or a family that lives under the same roof,” de Blasio said during the news briefing, according to “Those folks obviously have had deep exposure to each other, and it’s appropriate for them to share a vehicle, but obviously not people who don’t know each other.”

Lyft tweeted that it would cease shared rides “across all markets.” Uber said it would suspend its Uber Pool option entirely in the U.S. and Canada, in 18 cities total. The Uber app also features an in-app message urging riders to travel only if necessary to “help flatten the curve.”

The coronavirus crisis has led to some tough soul-searching in the gig economy as customers and workers try to limit the spread of the virus by avoiding contact. Grubhub, for instance, said that it would adopt contact-free delivery — which means drivers will call or text when they arrive and drop off your order on the doorstep or lobby.

Related: Check out the latest updates on airlines’ coronavirus-related waivers, cancellations and route suspensions.

The coronavirus outbreak has quickly spread around the world. Airlines have suspended flights, severely disrupting travel to, from, and within many of the world’s busiest markets. Cruise lines around the globe have been canceling, redirecting and reducing service. Many hotels are offering full refunds in the coming weeks and months. The outbreak is also forcing the cancellation of several businesses and sporting events worldwide.

For more on the coronavirus outbreak, see:

Featured image courtesy of Via

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