Lyft partners with Amazon on package and grocery deliveries

With ridership plummeting, Lyft is looking to diversify its offerings.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Lyft is recruiting drivers to do deliveries for Amazon.

Angela Lang/CNET

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, Lyft has expanded its services beyond just ride hailing. For example, last week in the San Francisco Bay Area, it initiated a pilot that lets drivers deliver medical supplies and meals. The company confirmed on Friday that it's now collaborating with Amazon to supply the e-commerce giant with drivers to do package and grocery deliveries. 

Lyft made the announcement in an email to drivers on Thursday, adding that it'll be sending out weekly notifications with "new information about driving, earning opportunities, and supporting your community." This news was first reported by Bloomberg.

As the coronavirus has spread, prompting government officials to mandate shelter-in-place policies, companies like Uber and Lyft have seen their ridership plummet. While Uber has other services, such as food delivery with Uber Eats, Lyft has had to search for new initiatives to keep its business afloat.

The lack of rides has also deeply affected Lyft's drivers. Many have seen their earnings tumble. And others have been forced to take unpaid time off because either they're vulnerable to COVID-19 or have come down with symptoms of the virus. Lyft has said it's offering two weeks paid leave to drivers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined, but some drivers have said it's been difficult to get that financial assistance.

In an email to sent to drivers on Thursday, Lyft wrote, "As a way to earn additional income right now, Lyft drivers can apply for one of Amazon's recently opened roles." The company also gave drivers a heads up about the federal stimulus bill and how they can access unemployment benefits from the government.

As far as staying safe from the coronavirus, Lyft said drivers can put a plastic barrier between the front and back seats of their cars. It also gave them a link of where to buy the sheeting on Amazon. The company additionally recommended that drivers roll down the windows during trips to increase ventilation in the car.

Amazon didn't return request for comment.

Watch this: Coronavirus lockdown: Why social distancing saves lives