On September 15, Lyft announced plans to offer discounted rides to polling places or ballot drop boxes on Election Day. This decision comes after Pew Research Center released data that said just over half of the U.S. voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. With the pandemic, it’s possible that the number of voters could decrease even more.
According to Forbes, Lyft users will receive a promo code valid only on November 3. The code will be good for 50% off a ride, up to a maximum of $10. The code is only valid for a one-way Lyft car or scooter ride, or a Lyft-operated bikeshare ride to a polling place anywhere in the United States. This includes registered drop box locations for voters who live in states that favor mail-in voting.
The company plans to fully cover the cost of any free or discounted rides and drivers will be compensated for what would have been the normal cost. The discount only applies to one-way travel because a round-trip discount would violate the election guideline that bars gifts or incentives in exchange for voting.
In an effort to offer as many free and discounted rides as possible, Lyft has partnered with the following nonprofit groups: Black Women’s Roundtable, National Federation of the Blind, and Student Veterans of America. Those groups will distribute codes within their communities. The rideshare giant is also partnering with LeBron James-backed More Than A Vote to provide rides to arena polling locations in Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Orlando.
Lyft is not the only company encouraging a high voter turnout. Uber, which plans to announce its Election Day discount in October, has teamed up with TurboVote to help people register to vote or request an absentee ballot. Registrations and requests can be made through the Uber and Uber Eats apps. The company has also announced its plans to send voting reminders via push notifications in the United States. In regards to the e-scooter industry, Lime announced plans to provide free, socially-distant scooter rides on Election Day in all cities where the company operates.
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