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Ride-share operator, Motivate, ensures commuter safety during COVID-19 for LYFT bikes

SafetyCulture Champions | SafetyCulture News | By | 21 Jul 2020 | 4 minute read

When COVID-19 hit, the way we do business completely shifted. Many businesses transitioned to completely remote work, while those deemed essential created new processes for health and safety, quickly. In the major US cities most impacted by the outbreak, these new compliance procedures became even more paramount.

For example, New York City was hugely impacted. The outbreak in NYC accounted for 8% of all US cases and 18% of US deaths.

For those who continued commuting to essential jobs in large metropolises, even the daily ride on public transportation held significant risks. Many commuters turned to socially distant ways to get around, like bike-sharing service, LYFT. In fact, a survey by Trek found that 85% of respondents perceived cycling as a safer mode of transportation than public transit, and 14% were using bikes in place of it.

As the popularity of essential bike-sharing services increased, LYFT’s operation management partner, Motivate, had to quickly implement new procedures for their corporate offices, service stations, and maintenance and repair shops in 11 locations across 9 major cities, including it’s biggest operation in the hard-hit New York City.

Motivate works to keep LYFT ride-sharing safely in business

In the competitive bike-sharing industry, Motivate knew they had to take action quickly to keep riders confident in the health and safety of their services.

“When COVID-19 hit, we had to deliver. We couldn’t just be in service.”

Motivate Environmental Health and Safety Director, Lauren Dunbar

Quickly, EHS Director, Lauren Dunbar, and Director of Facilities, Gabriela Salamanca, created a plan to reduce the potential for any exposure to disease throughout their supply chain that focused on compliance, visibility, and practicality.

The Motivate team needed to ensure that procedures were in place to halt any potential spread because people using their services were commuting from place to place.

With employees and operations spread across the US, the Motivate team needed to ramp up their response as quickly as possible and communicate with their client, LYFT, to ensure everyone was on the same page.

Their plan had to include four key elements:

  • Management of data in one place for easy analysis, hazard identification, and tracking and reporting.
  • Time-saving tactics were essential. The more manual entry and output they could avoid, the better. 
  • Quick adoption and education for teams across the organization to learn new processes.
  • Understanding of performance: how the implementation of new procedures across sites affected COVID-19 conditions.

With no time to shut down and re-assess, the safety team looked at where they could introduce stop gaps to address things like disinfecting stations, hand sanitizing stations, and breaks in time to sanitize bikes coming in when they’re touched by multiple hands.

“We were tasked with understanding: how do we know our frontline workers are following new processes correctly? How can we show compliance? Where are we missing PPE and necessary supplies?”

Gabriela Salamanca, Director of Facilities

Digital checklists key to robust operations system 

The Motivate team adapted templates from iAuditor’s public library to build a wave of new COVID-19 health and safety inspections into their operations, including:

Inspectors captured photo evidence of correct procedures and when things didn’t look quite right, the operations team quickly addressed issues by assigning responsibilities using corrective actions.

Notifications and actions are in place for failed safety inspections that automatically transfer to the right person in maintenance to address issues quickly. There is no more manual tracking, and Director of Facilities, Gabriela Salamanca, can keep an eye on issues from inception all the way through completion. 

Across Motivate’s many sites, site-specific checklists were created for dedicated safety contacts. Frontline employees used their mobile devices to complete required inspections. Motivate’s corporate team then used the inspection data to ensure compliance across its 11 sites without compromising safety with in-person check-ins saving on travel costs and risks. 

“Now, we can better ensure life safety by using iAuditor and internal systems to support it. We know we can ramp it up quickly and the data will be reliable. We know we can respond to situations quickly and effectively as they arise.”

Motivate’s Environmental Health and Safety Director, Lauren Dunbar

The new process brings peace of mind to the Motivate team, knowing that its frontline team members are fulfilling their important roles in stopping the spread. 

Motivate can now compare site performance, build templates for every hour of cleaning required, capture photo evidence, and change inspections as needed while keeping old data in place. Importantly, all of the inspection data was captured in real-time, in one place. Trends emerged month over month, spotlighting areas of improvement and excellence.

The collected data paints a powerful picture of Motivate’s quick response to COVID-19, the adaption to policy changes along the way, and their maintained compliance through re-opening. It’s opened up a channel of communication between the operations team, Motivate leadership and LYFT of daily compliance reporting.

bike maintenance

Motivate’s COVID-19 response makes waves internally 

The impacts of Motivate’s COVID-19 response will affect company operations far into the future. 

“Our COVID-19 response has absolutely prepared us for the future. We have a new reliance on iAuditor and the systems and tools we have in place. We are more prepared than ever before.”

Gabriela Salamanca, Director of Facilities

Engagement among frontline employees remains high as management maintains a renewed focus on safety and compliance, from the top-down. Workers feel empowered to report because the system is easy to use and they understand that they’re an integral part of the process. They can see their inspections helping create change and solve issues.

Employees now have a level of comfort with the new system in place, and digital checklists are an important part of their daily routines. 

The Motivate operations team will maintain many of the effective processes implemented during COVID-19 to reinforce continued social distancing practices, regular bike and work area disinfection, and posted signage reminding employees to stay home when they’re ill.

Motivate has seen incredible spikes in inspection completions. Having completed 60 inspections before COVID-19 hit, in a matter of months, teams across the organization have now completed over 750 inspections.

Data from Motivate’s completed inspections in iAuditor.

Preparing for the new normal, Motivate is currently developing new post-pandemic policies, building on top of what they’ve built with iAuditor, as well as having an early warning system to deploy if and when further outbreaks occur. Continued improvement and employee empowerment will remain core to their operations to ensure both safety and quality to their employees and customers as they deliver a positive experience. 

To learn more about how iAuditor can help you get safely back to business amidst COVID-19, explore our free COVID-19 response resources.

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