Dec 16, 2020 Dasher

Standing for New York City Dashers

DoorDash was founded to empower local economies, including by helping people from all walks of life earn on their own schedule through our platform. A critical part of our commitment to local communities is helping to ensure safe and reliable earning opportunities.

Over the last several weeks, important questions were raised about some of the challenges facing delivery workers, including Dashers, and how we can all do more to help support these workers helping New Yorkers and New York City businesses during this difficult time.

Today, we are announcing a series of initiatives to help support the New York City Dasher community, focused on strengthening safety, access to restrooms, and protecting Dasher earnings. Many of these initiatives were developed in consultation with the Dasher Community Council and the Voices from Dashers of Color Council, and we’re working with City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee, and Councilmember Robert Cornegy as we pursue these efforts.

These additional investments build on our numerous initiatives that protect and support Dashers, including free personal protective equipment (PPE), two weeks of financial support for Dashers impacted by COVID-19, access to $4 telehealth appointments, and more. These are a natural extension of our commitment to supporting restaurants and partnering with communities, such as our partnership with the National Urban League and New York Urban League, our $12 million Dasher Rewards Program, as well as the Dasher financial platform DasherDirect.

Strengthening safety

While road safety in New York City has been an issue for many years, and for many industries and workers, we’re focused on solutions that serve our community, especially given the higher percentage of Dashers who deliver by bike in New York City relative to other regions.

Emergency Assistance

We know that there are times when a Dasher may need emergency services. To make that as easy as possible, next year we’re integrating an emergency assistance button into the Dasher app to give Dashers greater peace of mind.

Improved navigation options for Dashers on bikes

We continue to invest in products tailored to the transportation modes Dashers choose to help them stay as safe as possible. Today, Dashers on bikes are given the option to receive directions to their destination via their preferred mapping app (Google Maps, Waze or Apple Maps); those apps provide each Dasher with directions to their destination via bike lanes where possible. DoorDash is in the process of rolling out in-app navigation, which will allow Dashers who choose to do so – including those on bikes – the option to access and follow directions provided directly within the Dasher app.

For Dashers who have indicated that they deliver by bike, we work hard to only offer them deliveries that are bike-friendly. This is designed to avoid offering orders to Dashers on bikes that contain cumbersome items like cakes or multiple hot drinks. Dashers see information about the pick up and delivery locations in advance and are always free to decline any order. We will continue to partner closely with Dashers to understand how we can improve their experience and help them make the safest choices possible for themselves.

Free and discounted road safety equipment

In January, we will begin providing free reflective gear to all New York City Dashers who deliver by bike or scooter, and will provide access to significantly discounted additional safety equipment if Dashers want it- including phone mounts and helmets – through the Dasher store. We’ll also send communications to Dashers to connect them with the store and raise awareness of ways they can choose to increase their safety while on the road. This will help Dashers easily and affordably access equipment to stay safe and visible on the road. We will gather feedback from Dashers and other community groups so we can evolve and grow our offerings over time.

Supporting safe streets

We are in contact with the New York City Department of Transportation, City Councilmembers, and third-party experts to identify the best ways we can advocate for a safer transportation system. That means making biking safer, realizing Vision Zero, and reallocating parking and street space. We believe that the Transportation-Led Recovery Agenda represents a strong foundation for that work, and we are exploring opportunities to support advocacy work to make safe streets a reality, particularly for all vulnerable road users.

Expanding restroom access

While Dashers are out earning, we know some have challenges finding clean, safe restrooms as a result of restrictions caused by the pandemic. This is concerning to us, so we’re taking a multi-pronged approach to finding a solution.

Identifying available restrooms

Nearly two hundred restaurant locations across New York City have agreed to make their restrooms available to Dashers whenever they are picking up an order. Dashers will see this guidance in their app when picking up orders at those locations.

We are reaching out to our restaurant partners across all five boroughs to encourage them to also allow Dashers to use their restrooms, and we applaud the New York City Hospitality Alliance’s efforts to encourage restaurants to allow all delivery workers to use their restrooms. As we secure additional restaurant partners that are willing to allow Dashers to use their facilities, we will continue to update new locations in the Dasher app.

Finding long term solutions

We’re engaging with local leaders to find additional ways to address bathroom access. Public bathroom access is a complicated issue for many, including for-hire vehicle drivers and homeless New Yorkers, and we are focused on being a part of a solution. We’re working to identify ways DoorDash can support access to clean and safe bathroom facilities and look forward to having more to share soon.

Protecting earnings with new support

One of the top reasons many people across New York choose to earn with DoorDash is the flexibility it provides to earn when, where, and for however long they want. Nationally, more than 90% of Dashers deliver fewer than 10 hours a week and on average, Dashers deliver for fewer than 4 hours per week. These are parents, veterans, immigrants, retirees, students, and entrepreneurs. We are focused on finding ways to protect the independence and flexibility these Dashers value most, while ensuring that they can earn safely and on their own terms.

Nationally, on average Dashers earn $22 per hour they’re on a job, including 100% of their tips. Dashers in New York City earn even more on average and in October 2020, Dashers earned an average of over $33 per hour they were on a job in Manhattan, including 100% of their tips.

Today, we’re excited to announce a series of steps we’re taking to support Dashers as they earn:

Access to e-bikes

Faster, easier deliveries means more earnings for Dashers, so we’re launching a pilot to make e-bikes more accessible to New York City Dashers in partnership with Zoomo. As part of this program, Dashers can rent Zoomo e-bikes for free for two weeks requiring only a $100 refundable security deposit and receive a promotional hot bag backpack to make the Dashing by bike experience easier and safer. Participating Dashers are also eligible for earnings bonuses. We’ll continue to monitor the value of this program and how we can provide the best experience for New York City Dashers.

Keeping bike maintenance affordable

We’re actively engaging in conversations with potential partners with the goal of offering New York City Dashers access to discounted bike maintenance and services. Our goal is to make it easy and affordable for Dashers to maintain their bikes and continue earning.

Advocating for new policies

We will also continue to advocate for legislation that would raise standards by guaranteeing key protections to Dashers and similar workers in New York so these workers can continue to earn money on their own terms with added security. This is why we provide occupational accident insurance in the event Dashers are injured on-the-job, ensure that Dashers always receive 100% of their tips, and provide Dashers transparency into what they will earn for each delivery in advance. We look forward to working with policymakers across New York on solutions that support Dashers and improve app-based work.

We know that this is only the beginning and that solving these, and other, complex challenges will require partnership between DoorDash, policymakers, and other stakeholders, and we look forward to creating a stronger, brighter, and more vibrant future for our community.