LONDON, May 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The coronavirus pandemic has affected the taxi and limousine services market across many countries. In most of the states in the USA, shops and businesses have shuttered and offices have emptied out, and this has resulted in less demand for taxi services. For instance, in New York, yellow-cab owners and drivers estimate that their fares have dropped by more than two-thirds in March 2020, due to less demand for cabs. Ride-hailing companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are experiencing the pressure from the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Canaccord Genuity pricing tracker, ride-share fares dropped by 6% month over month in March. Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., major ride-hailing companies in the US, are already feeling the pressure from the coronavirus pandemic as travel restrictions and lockdowns are increasing across the US.

In China, where the coronavirus disease was first detected, transport services are down by 50%. According to data by Aurora Mobile, a leading mobile big data solutions platform in China, the daily active users on ride sharing apps declined by more than half after the Chinese government declared the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The Coronavirus Impact On India And Italy

The Indian government also declared lockdown once the country started seeing increase in coronavirus patients across the country. This has highly impacted the earnings of taxi drivers, because in lockdown, ride hailing services are also restricted to operate. Only a few taxi services are allowed to provide emergency services with proper approval. For instance, Ola Cabs, a ride hailing cab service company in India, requested the government for loan waivers for drivers, and a delay in tax payments, so that they can make up for lost income due to the coronavirus impact.

Italy was the second country to be badly hit by the coronavirus disease after China, the epicenter of the disease. In Italy, the government declared lockdown to control the spread of the disease and this has tremendously impacted the market for taxis and limousine services in the country.

Initiatives Taken By Taxi Service Companies Amid The Coronavirus Situation

The taxi and ride-hailing services companies are taking necessary proper measures to keep their passengers and drivers safe from the infectious and highly communicable COVID-19 disease. Maintaining the highest standards of hygiene, both personally as well as within the cabs, is of utmost importance. The taxi services companies have instructed their driver partners for the usage of masks, hand sanitizers, encouraged cashless payment, and also advised to keep sanitizing the cabs at regular intervals of time. For instance, In India, Meru cabs introduced a unique ‘Ozone (O3) Treatment’ to sanitize the cabs at designated hubs in the city. O3 air is released inside the cabs to make it virus and bacteria free. Also, the company distributed do’s and don’ts leaflets for their driver partners and advised to maintain social distancing among fellow drivers. In another instance, Ola India instructed their driver partners to inform the 24×7 Ola Care helpline if they find any flu like symptoms among their passengers, and the driver should self-quarantine themselves. Also, Ola requested their passengers to contact the company if any customer who tested positive has taken an Ola ride in the past seven days.

Taxi Service Companies Are Offering Emergency Services

The taxi services companies are offering to provide services for emergency transport to ease the burden of ambulance services. Many service providers have requested governments to issue directives on how they can help during this coronavirus outbreak so that they can do their part of duty during this period. Since there is a decline in normal rides, taxi services could be repurposed to help patients needing to attend medical appointments. For instance, NXT Taxis in Ireland requested the government to issue a directive to offer taxi services to ease the burden that is being placed on ambulances and emergency services during the coronavirus pandemic.

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