After more than seven months of coronavirus-related restrictions and shutdowns, we’re interested in learning more about how our readers have altered their habits and lifestyles — and today, we’re curious about ridesharing services. Many Austinites we know living downtown and around the central city say they previously used services like Uber and Lyft to get around town nearly every day or at least a few times a week, but now we’ve found we haven’t needed a ride from these companies in several months — this can be attributed mostly to some people working from home, but also in the virtualization of other activities outside of work, like social Zoom calls.
We suspect the majority of local rideshare patrons who aren’t currently taking rides are still using versions of at least one of these “gig” apps for food delivery via Uber Eats, and many drivers ordinarily accustomed to working with human passengers are likely now finding employment with these services. The most common refrain we’ve heard during these long months is that gig workers are struggling all over, and rideshare companies aren’t always doing enough to keep drivers safe or informed — so we’re wondering what Austinites have experienced while using these services, or not using them as much, during the pandemic. If you work as a driver for these services, we’d also like to hear your stories. Either way, please fill out our survey: