Omaha Uber driver expresses frustration of riders not masking up

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 10:38 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An Uber driver is sounding off, saying riders need to stop debating and mask up.

Omaha’s mask mandate has expired and when it comes to reminding Uber passengers to mask up, driver Rory Heaton’s patience has too.

“It’s very frustrating because when you do your app it tells you you have to wear it!” said Heaton.

He’s right, the app doesn’t make you guess about Uber’s policy. It won’t confirm a trip unless you agree to wear a mask, sit in the backseat and avoid Ubering if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

“Maybe 70/30. Most people get it,” said Heaton.

But Heaton says that 30% is still too much and recently, his riders have been giving identical reasons for their push back.

“They just won’t wear a mask because the mandate in Omaha is off,” said Heaton.

Some passengers may have confused Uber’s policy with the expired city mandate and the CDC’s face mask requirement on public transit.

It’s left Heaton wishing he could take the same route as the Metro bus system.

“I wish we could have something like that on ours,” said Heaton.

But there’s no time for wishing when Heaton says he just wants to make an honest living and stay safe doing it. And all of this has affected tips.

“When you tell somebody to keep pulling up their mask, they get mad at ya,” said Heaton.

For now, he says he hopes someone sees that he’s just following the policy and appreciates when you do too.

Also, a source of confusion is that the CDC’s masks requirement has applied to rideshares but excludes personal vehicles.

But rideshares are personal vehicles.

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