SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / CNN) — Lyft plans to cut nearly 1,000 staffers and furlough hundreds more as it grapples with the impact of the ongoing pandemic on people using its ride-hailing services.
The San Francisco-based company, which went public about a year ago, said in a filing Wednesday that it plans to cut 17 percent of its workforce, or 982 employees.
“There’s nearly a thousand employees they are terminating and they say there are furloughing another nearly 300 employees. That is considered to be temporary, but I guess that really depends with what happens with the company’s financial future,” Dara Kerr, senior reporter for CNET told KPIX 5.
In the filing, Lyft cited the downsizing as a means of curbing operating expenses and adjusting its cash flow “in light of the ongoing economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the company’s business.”
The news comes one day after tech news site The Information reported that rival Uber is weighing significant staff cuts as well. Both companies have a history of steep losses and went through layoffs prior to the pandemic.
Lyft has been attempting to shift toward delivery, an area it had not previously embraced. Weeks ago it advised drivers to consider pursuing driving work with Amazon.
The stillness of the shelter in place order can be felt on San Francisco’s Battery Street, on Market, on Van Ness and every other major thoroughfare in the city. In addition to those not driving to work, there are plenty who are not driving for work anymore.
Among those, Taylor Hazell of Richmond. He’s worked as a full time driver for Lyft since 2014. He took his last fare on March 15th, and that was not a prosperous day for a driver who typically logs between 25-30 fares a day.
“I only did at the most 15 fares and it took over 10 hours to do,” Hazell told KPIX 5.
While Lyft’s announced layoffs were in the corporate offices, but drivers are feeling the financial pinch too.
“It was very not safe and unfortunately. I don’t have health insurance, so it’s not safe for me to be out there, ’cause if I were to get sick, it.s going to cost me even more. And unfortunately, I live paycheck to paycheck,” said Hazell.
He, like many is waiting for some sense of safety so he can get back behind the wheel.
“We want to be back out there driving and we want everybody to be safe and get back to work, but it’s very difficult right now,” said Hazell.
Andria Borba contributed to this report.
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