Many Americans struggle to get to the polls on election day. Those without transportation may have trouble getting to a polling place, leading them not to be able to vote in their area’s elections. In an effort to tackle the problem, Lyft, the ride-hailing service, is providing options for free and discounted rides on Election Day.
On Thursday, according to a report by CNET, Lyft announced that half-price rides are being offered during the midterm elections this year. Location-based codes will be available, allowing riders to receive the discount if they are in a region with a midterm election on Tuesday, November 6.
“It’s about using our voice and our platform to make sure folks have access to go vote,” said Lyft’s head of Social Impact, Mike Masserman.
Free rides to polling locations will also be available in certain underserved communities. Lyft is providing codes to nonprofit, nonpartisan groups that can either be distributed to people they work with who are in need or used in conjunction with the Lyft Concierge service, allowing nonprofit groups like Urban League and Voto Latino to request rides for voters.
“We rely on their expertise to know who needs a ride to the poll and when they need that ride,” said Masserman.
Along with the free and discounted rides, Lyft is also launching an initiative to help encourage more people to register to vote.
Between now and September 25, Lyft is providing drivers with handouts filled with voter registration information and is also reminding passengers of approaching registration deadlines on social media.
Lyft is also partnering with organizations like Vote.org, TurboVote, and When We All Vote between September 25 and Election Day to provide passengers with details about early voting and vote-by-mail options.
Information about scheduling a ride on Election Day is also being made available.
After learning about the partnership, Michelle Obama, the former first lady, tweeted: “We can each do our part to help all eligible voters make their voices heard in this upcoming election and every election. And I’m thrilled that companies like @Lyft are working with @WhenWeAllVote to get people registered & out to vote this November.”
Over recent years, Lyft has worked diligently to cast itself as a “good guy” company by providing a variety of services that assist with social-good efforts. The Concierge service, launched in 2016, offers rides to patients for nonemergency medical appointments.
In June, the ride-hailing company started providing cancer patients in a range of major US cities with free transportation to and from treatment facilities.