BY Fast Company 2 MINUTE READ

Grubhub (food delivery platform) is partnering with RapidSOS, a third-party service that connects users with safety agents, in the hopes that it’ll boost courier protection, the companies announced Thursday.

When gig workers call 911 through the Grubhub for Drivers app, RapidSOS will share information like dynamic location and caller ID directly to the nearest emergency responders. The partnership also includes the ability to call a safety agent in case a person doesn’t feel safe and wants to stay on the line with someone while they travel, as well as the ability to monitor situations over text. If those situations escalate, the safety agent can share the courier’s information with emergency responders.

Photo: Courtesy Grubhub

The services are now available for Grubhub drivers in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. It’ll cover roughly 30,000 couriers at first, Jeff Smith, Grubhub’s director of logistics, said in an interview. The features are expected to hit nationwide by the middle of this year.

“It’s making sure they feel safe, because at the end of the day, this is a partnership with those drivers also,” Smith said. “So, we want to make sure they want to come back to us.”

The efforts come after a tough few years for gig workers, who have reportedly been impacted by an increase in violence and theft, including carjackings and e-bike theft, alongside the pandemic. RapidSOS also partners with Uber and Instacart.

“In those emergency moments, it’s going to save time for [workers] to go out of their application they’re already in to dial 911,” says Karin Marquez, RapidSOS’s chief public safety brand officer. “This just gives them a quick button to push that still connects them to the 911 center in the way that 911 needs to be contacted, and also these other workflows when 911 is not quite needed.”

By Jessica Bursztynsky