Since New York City and the entire state are currently blocked due to the corona virus (officially called COVID-19), there is currently no great need for carpooling.
In these extraordinary times, the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) is looking for ways to help gig workers who are in dire need of work while helping the community overcome the lockout, which could take up to 12 weeks.
The big idea of TLC is to deliver meals that prohibit eating in the restaurant and ask people to stay at home. Demand is expected to increase as more people eat rather than go out.
In an email sent to licensees on Monday 23 March, the Commission said it was looking for drivers with a TLC license to sign up for the delivery of meals to people stuck at home . Other types of deliveries can be added later.
The request is not only for taxi drivers, but also for passengers working for Uber and Lyft who also need a TLC license to work in New York. However, Uber drivers can switch to Uber Eats more easily if there is enough demand.
"The world around us is changing and many of you are out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the TLC wrote today to the licensees. “You are a top priority for TLC and we recognize that you are the hardest hit by this public health crisis. As we review all possible ways to help you and assess needs across the city, we ask for your support and participation in the city's response. "
The TLC said driver demand will initially be low, but demand is likely to increase as more people start requesting food delivery. Drivers receive $ 15 an hour – plus gas mileage reimbursement and any toll fees – a wage slightly below the $ 17.22 hourly value that rideshare drivers in New York City receive after deducting the cost . The commission added that drivers are selected based on availability.
Interested drivers can sign up on the website included in the email sent to TLC licensees on Monday. The commission said it will contact drivers who will register as soon as jobs become available.
The initiative is a great example of how a community can use its resources to help those in need in difficult times for so many people. Carpooling Lyft took a similar step last week and announced it would expand its service to include the delivery of food and medical supplies to people in areas subject to blocking orders.
Cities and states in the United States have ordered closures to keep people apart as part of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. The drastic measure is designed to reduce healthcare pressures by lowering the infection rate and reducing the likelihood of a sudden and uncontrollable increase.