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“No mask, no ride”: Uber introduces stricter mask regulations

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 3:04 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The CDC recommends that you wear a mask when you’re in public spaces, especially when social distancing isn’t possible. Now, Uber is taking additional steps to ensure its users are following this recommendation to protect drivers and passengers.

For two years, Uber driver Kristie Butler has hopped in her car, started it up, and hit the road to get people in the Bismarck-Mandan area where they need to go.

“I feel like I’m out there for the greater good. I do the bar runs on the weekends, because I want to get people home safe,” Butler said.

Butler does more than that. She is also a primary care-giver for her aging parents, and took a few months off of driving for Uber when the pandemic began.

“The pandemic is scary. You don’t want to expose them, or as very little as possible,” Butler said.

Uber has introduced stricter guidelines to ensure the safety of drivers. The policy is “no mask, no ride,” and you may be asked to prove that you’re wearing a mask by taking a selfie in the app.

Mask verification is always required for drivers, and for passengers if the driver requests, or reports the passenger as not wearing a mask.

“I feel safer in my Uber than in a Walmart right now, because of the precautions I’m taking,” Butler said.

Butler has a plexiglass divider to provide further protection from riders, cleans her car after each trip, and even has masks to provide for her customers if they don’t have one. She says sometimes, people refuse to use them anyway.

“I had a ride this weekend from a bar. And, he didn’t have a mask on. I said ‘do you have a mask?’ and he yelled at me and used foul language,” Butler said.

Butler says Uber provides some cleaning supplies, but she still paid about $150 out of pocket for PPE and other items to get back on the road after the pandemic began. She says she is trying to do her part in preventing drunk driving, as well as the spread of coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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