Can health and safety efforts save ride-hailing post-pandemic?

After months of low ridership amid the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation network companies (TNCs) are hoping to enter their “new normal” with a number of adopted and planned initiatives to help customers once again feel comfortable hailing a ride.

These initiatives include face mask mandates for riders and drivers alongside vehicle sanitization requirements. For Lyft and Via, it also includes plans to install plexiglass dividers in vehicles to prevent the spread of germs.

Despite these efforts, some experts suggest COVID-19 could force a reckoning regarding the long-term viability of ride-hailing services. It could also bring into question the future of previous offerings like shared rides — especially as residents and commuters turn to personal vehicles in a bid to stay safe.