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Uber will give Brits a free trip to vaccination centres
by Paul Hill
To assist the drive to get Britain vaccinated against the coronavirus, Uber has announced that it’s going to offer free trips to vaccination centres around the country as long as the bill is less than £15. Unfortunately, those who fall outside the vaccination priority groups probably won’t benefit from the offer because the promo codes are only valid until February 28, 2021, but if you’re taking an elderly relative then you can definitely save some money.
To get the free ride, tap the menu in the top left of the Uber app and select Wallet, select ‘Add Promo Code’ at the bottom and add the appropriate promo code for the vaccination centre you’re travelling to or from, then select the other pick-up or drop-off location and confirm your trip. The promo codes for the vaccination centres are as follows:
Robertson House, Stevenage: UberUKRH Excel Centre (Nightingale), London: UberUKEX Centre for Life, Newcastle: UberUKCL Etihad Tennis and Football Centre, Manchester: UberUKET Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey: UberUKED Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol: UberUKAG Millennium Point, Birmingham: UberUKMP In addition to the deadline in February, Uber has also said that the promotion will only be valid for the first 4,000 riders per promo code. It’s not clear how quickly these promo codes will last, though, according to government data nearly four million people have received their first dose of the vaccine so far. While many of those will have gone to local centres not involved in the scheme there’s still a good chance the promo codes could be exhausted before February 28 rolls around.
Like other parts of the private sector, Uber has been altering its normal services to help people through the coronavirus pandemic. In November, the firm announced Uber Medics, a subsidised ride service for NHS and care home staff. By selecting Uber Medics, health workers could save 25% on all of their trips and get more flexibility on waiting times – all at Uber’s, not the driver’s, expense.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Lyft expands ADT-supported Emergency Help across the U.S.
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Lyft is making Emergency Help, a feature it launched to enhance transportation safety, now available across the U.S., which means both drivers and riders request assistance by quickly connecting to ADT security professionals. The program was initiated in select locations in the U.S. earlier this year.
With the help of the feature, riders and drivers will be able to immediately connect with an ADT security professional through voice or silently. While riders may select between the security company texting them, calling them, or calling 911 on their behalf, drivers will only have the ability to request a call from ADT. The firm stated that this is being done to "promote focused driving."
If users request assistance, ADT will alert authorities so they may immediately reach the user's live location. ADT will provide law enforcement agencies with ride details, which include "vehicle’s make and model, license plate number, and the intended drop-off location."
The ride-hailing service plans to expand this feature in the future by integrating it with its Smart Trip Check-in product, which checks on users who have been dropped at a considerable distance from their intended destination.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Uber will let you schedule rides up to 30 days in advance
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Uber announced today that it is launching a new Reserve feature that lets riders schedule trips up to 30 days in advance. The initiative builds on the traditional on-demand model, as the ride-hailing service noticed that scheduling trips have become vastly popular during the coronavirus pandemic.
Users booking trips through the service will be shown the estimated fare as usual, and they will be required to make the booking more than two hours prior so Uber can make the necessary arrangements. Drivers chosen for the trip can be contacted in advance, and there is an additional 15 minutes of waiting time, giving users flexibility around departure if they need it. If the ride doesn't arrive when scheduled, users will be awarded $50 in Uber Cash.
Starting next week, Uber Reserve will be available in more than 20 U.S. cities, which are Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, D.C., Fort-Myers / Naples, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Jersey, New York City, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Seattle.
Initially, the feature will be restricted to Uber Black and Black SUV rides, with support for other car segments coming by the end of the year.
Voters in California say gig economy drivers are contractors
by Paul Hill
While most people’s attention has been on the Presidential election, voters in California got to vote on something called Proposition 22 too. It asked voters whether app-based drivers should continue to be classified as contractors or whether they should be considered employees and gain extra rights; 58.42% said they should continue to be classified as contractors while 41.58% were in favour of changing their status.
Unsurprisingly, the big tech firms with a stake in the measure such as Uber, Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash backed the bid to classify workers as contractors. The firms were so invested in keeping their costs low, in fact, that they invested more than $200 million, which is a record, trying to convince people to vote in their favour.
Drivers and unions were hoping the public would vote the other way. Nicole Moore, a driver and organiser at Rideshare Drivers United, said that tech firms outspent the competition by 20:1 but ultimately, the decision will not stop workers and unions from demanding better working conditions. Had drivers been classified as employees, they would have been eligible for the minimum wage, unemployment benefits, and health insurance.
While the result is not what a lot of drivers wanted, Proposition 22 still requires some concessions from the likes of Uber and Lyft. They will have to provide some benefits such as vouchers to access subsidised health insurance and guarantee hourly earnings. The companies will also bolster safety by performing more background checks on drivers.
Source: The Guardian