Uber Technologies Inc. on Tuesday began suspending shared rides on its ride-hailing platform in the U.S. and Canada to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The pooled option, which allows riders to book trips at lower prices by sharing the car with up to three other passengers traveling in the same direction, has been disabled for users opening the apps in the two countries.
"Our goal is to help flatten the curve on community spread in the cities we serve," senior vice president Uber Rides and Platform Andrew Macdonald said in a statement.
A spokesman said similar steps outside the U.S. and Canada would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Regular rides and the company's food delivery platform Uber Eats remain available, but Uber said it was in contact with local authorities to adjust operations as needed.
North America provides the bulk of Uber's revenue, but pooled rides make up only a small share of all bookings, data by U.S. cities showed.
Lyft Inc., Uber's smaller North American competitor, on Tuesday said it is pausing shared rides "across all markets."
"The health and safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we’re dedicated to doing what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19," the company said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely and base our actions on official guidance."