Guidance for Taxi and Ride Sharing Vehicles

COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. For drivers, potential sources of exposure include having close contact with passengers with COVID-19, or touching surfaces touched by a person with COVID-19. As a driver, take the following steps to protect yourself and others:

Stay home if you are sick

Stay home or return home if you have any of these signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • New cough or worsening: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose or sneezing, nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, change in taste or smell, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • Unexplained fatigue, headache, chills

​You should stay home for 14 days from when the symptoms began and complete the Ontario self-assessment tool to see if you need to take further action. Learn more about how to self-isolate.

Limit contact

  • Have passengers sit in the back seat rather than the front
  • Have passengers handle their own equipment/bags/luggage, if possible
  • Consider wearing a non-medical mask and encouraging passengers to wear a mask or face coverings.
  • Encourage customers to use a contactless method of payment, if available
  • Consider having plexiglass shields professionally installed as a barrier between the driver and passenger in the back seat
  • Discourage shared rides so passengers are not travelling with unknown individuals
  • Avoid using the recirculated air option for the car’s ventilation during passenger transport; use the car’s vents to bring in outside air and/or lower the vehicle windows

Practice and promote good hygiene

  • Drivers should wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When this is not possible, drivers should clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Always clean hands after handling money or assisting with a passenger’s personal items.
  • Consider providing alcohol-based hand rub, tissues and a no-touch disposal receptacle for passenger use
  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, or mouth)
  • Consider placing signs for cough and sneeze etiquette in vehicles where passengers can see this information (e.g. in a clear plastic sleeve).

Clean and disinfect your vehicle and commonly touched surfaces

  • Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants are effective against COVID-19
  • In addition to routine cleaning, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g. car door handles, arm rests, buttons for windows and locks and seatbelts) at least:
    • Twice per day
    • When visibly dirty
    • After transporting medical patients (e.g. to and from hospital and other health care settings)
    • After transporting passengers who have respiratory symptoms (e.g. coughing, sneezing) 
  • Please review Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings

What steps can employers take?

  • Encourage the use of and provide assistance in acquiring hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and cleaning products for drivers.
  • Have the company website and telephone message remind passengers that car share/taxi services are for essential trips when client does not have access to a personal vehicle
  • Have the website and telephone message encourage passengers to handle their own items, practice physical distancing where possible, wear a mask or face covering and open car windows to allow for greater air flow
  • Actively encourage drivers to stay home and not return to work for 14 days if they are sick, and direct them to complete the Ontario self-assessment tool for further guidance.
  • Adopt flexible policies, if not already in place, to allow drivers to stay home to care for themselves or for sick family members.

Employers are encouraged to review the Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance: Essential Workplaces.


Adapted with permission from Toronto Public Health: References

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. (2020). What Rideshare, Taxi, Limo & Other Drivers-For-Hire Need to Know About
COVID-19 . Retrieved from: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/rideshare-drivers-for-hire.html

Ontario Ministry of Health (2020). COVID-19 Guidance: Essential Workplaces. Retrieved from:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/2019_essential_workplaces_guidance.pdf

Public Health Ontario (2020). Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings. Retrieved from:
https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/factsheet-covid-19-environmental-cleaning.pdf?la=en

Toronto Public Health [TPH]. (2020). COVID-19 Guidance for Taxi and Ride Share Vehicles. Retrieved from:
https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/8d19-COVID-19-Guidance-for-Taxi-Ride-Share-Employers-Drivers-Vehicle-Owners.pdf