KEY POINTS

  • The regular ride option in the app will continue to work
  • The company waived delivery fees for small businesses
  • Also offered the employees an option to work from home

Uber on Tuesday suspended shared rides on its ride-hailing platform in the United States and Canada to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Uber Pool option, which offers the riders trips at lower prices by sharing the car with up to three other passengers traveling on the same route, has been disabled for app users in both the countries. The regular ride option in the app continued to be working.

"Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve," said Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president, Uber Globel Rides and Platform, in a statement, according to Reuters.

Uber users in the U.S. and Canada will also receive a message reminding them to consider if the ride they plan to book is essential and to “travel only when necessary."

Uber Eats, the company's food delivery platform, remained available and was helping its "community" to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic. It provided over 300,000 free meals to health-care workers and first responders helping combat the virus. Uber Eats was also waiving delivery fees for small businesses in some of its markets.

Uber also offered its employees an option to work from home, while the office will remain open. Several organizations around the globe have shut down or limited operations as a step against the spread.

A woman checks the Uber transport application on her mobile phone after authorities ordered its suspension in Colombia, in Bogota on December 20, 2019 A woman checks the Uber transport application on her mobile phone after authorities ordered its suspension in Colombia, in Bogota on December 20, 2019 Photo: AFP / Juan BARRETO