Taxi drivers around the world have lost a lot of fares during the pandemic, but one European country is throwing them a financial lifeline with a new initiative that keeps them behind the wheel.
Lars-Goran Goransson has been picking up passengers in Sweden for 20 years. During the pandemic, he's trading people for packages. Goransson is delivering and collecting COVID-19 tests from homes in Stockholm.
"I feel very good about doing this because the customers that we drive the tests to are very happy that they don't have to go anywhere," said Goransson.
He is one of more than a thousand drivers shuttling swabs between homes and laboratory pick up points. The socially-distanced handoffs earn the workers hailed as "corona cabbies" $37 an hour. That’s a bit more than a standard journey.
Goransson admits it took time to adapt.
"Yes, I'm nervous," he said. "But I think this is a safe way to do your work."
Since the pandemic began, taxi drivers have delivered more than a quarter of a million COVID tests, and they'll keep it up until their usual passengers are ready to ride again.