How clean is your Uber or Lyft? Study Finds Rideshares Full of Germs

Photo by  Dan Gold

Photo by Dan Gold

Study: The average rideshare vehicle has about 219 times as many germs as the average taxi and more than 35,000 times more than the average toilet seat.


For the study, NetQuote -- an insurance provider -- took swabs of multiple surfaces in nine different vehicles to compare the number of germs in ride-sharing vehicles, rental vehicles and taxis. Rideshares yielded the highest bacteria levels, with more than 6 million “colony-forming units” (CFU) of bacteria per square inch on average. Rental cars, meanwhile, average about 2 million CFU per square inch. Taxis had an average of just over 27,000 CFUs per square inch.

Certain parts of the vehicles contained different levels of bacteria. For instance, in the rideshare vehicles, the window buttons were “the worst when it comes to germs,” the study found. Those buttons had more than 5 million CFU per square inch on the tiny buttons. The seatbelts also contained high levels of bacteria, with more than 1 million CFU per square inch.

Door handles, interestingly, were the cleanest surfaces, with only 1,810 CFU per square inch. Still gross!

Riders worried about the presence of germs could, for example, wipe down key surfaces, like the door handle, seatbelt, and window buttons. Check out these antibacterial, moisturizing, essential oil, scented hand wipe by Trip Wipes.


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