September 16, 2021- What do you do when a pandemic completely disrupts your industry?
When the COVID-19 virus hit New Jersey, it turned the rideshare industry upside down. Restaurants, bars, venues, and other small businesses shuttered and the number of passengers dwindled.
Many New Jersey residents depend on driving, whether they’re doing it full time or to supplement other income. But, in just weeks that resource dried up. The Independent Drivers Guild of New Jersey had to quickly shift focus to help fellow drivers.
Our organization was born from a need to protect rideshare drivers, many of whom are from minority groups or recently immigrated, from being exploited by apps like Uber and Lyft. Far too often, it’s easy for that exploitation to go unchecked.
Because the IDG is led by drivers, we understand what our peers are going through. We understand that we’re only going to make it through this together because we’re the only ones looking out for each other.
When the federal government rolled out aid programs, the application processes were confusing, and there weren’t many resources for help in completing them. So, we stepped in to assist drivers with filling out applications for programs like the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Paycheck Protection Program.
Additionally, many drivers were left to their own devices when it came to keeping their vehicles safe for themselves and their passengers. Despite the fact that PPE was nearly impossible to find in stores, We worked together to gather as much PPE from wholesale sources and other organizations as we could to hand out to drivers.
The COVID-19 pandemic tested all of us. But at the IDG, we also see it as an invaluable lesson. Now, we are more prepared to help our fellow drivers in situations we could have never predicted. We are still facing many uncertainties, and we will continue to grow and adapt to help our fellow drivers.
Are you a driver in need of help from the New Jersey Independent Drivers Guild? Email us at email@example.com and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.