What to know if you really need to take an Uber, Lyft or taxi

Illustration of car with wreath
(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

This story is part of a package on holiday travel.

Drivers for taxi companies and rideshare businesses such as Uber and Lyft are allowed to operate during the pandemic. But experts urge travelers to avoid them.

  • The city of Los Angeles says: “You should avoid being in a vehicle with many other people, especially those who live outside of your household.”

  • If you do use a rideshare service or taxi, experts say to make sure the driver is masked. Passengers should sit in the backseat and, if weather permits, open at least one window.
  • The CDC advises passengers to avoid touching “the door frame and handles, windows, and other vehicle parts. When you must touch these surfaces, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible afterwards.” The CDC says passengers should not accept offers of free water bottles, should use touchless payment when possible and wash hands upon arrival.
  • Lyft has offered its drivers partitions to place between drivers and passengers; Uber is stocking vehicles with wipes. Passengers should use them to wipe down seat belt buckles, door handles, window buttons and other high-touch areas.
  • Uber, which has a “No mask. No ride.” policy for drivers and passengers, has more pandemic safety on its website. Lyft has the same and forbids drivers from letting passengers sit in front.