Lyft Offers Reduced Rates to the Polls to Vote Nov. 6

The ride-hailing company’s offer is available for everyone, and underserved areas can get to the polls free of charge on Election Day 2018.

Mobile Device Applications
NurPhoto—NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lyft announced via blog post, that it is going to offer 50 percent discounts, and in some cases, free rides to get riders to the voting booth this Election Day, Nov. 6. The ride-hailing company is offering this to its users across the country, in what it determines are underserved communities that do not have easy access to transportation. 

According to the post it is estimated that in 2016 more than 15 million people were unable to vote due to lack of transportation. Lyft plans to fix that by offering 50 percent off promo codes to its users. Lyft partnered with Vote.org, Nonprofit Vote, TurboVote and others to help get codes to those in need and it plans to incorporate ways in its app to help passengers find their polling station. 

In underserved communities Lyft is providing free rides through several nonpartisan, nonprofit groups, such as Voto Latino, local Urban League affiliates and the National Federation of the Blind. 

In addition to helping people get to the polls Lyft has also partnered with When We all Vote and National Voter Registration Day to try and make it easier for people to register to vote and learn about the issues. To make sure Lyft's drivers and passengers are prepared for Election Day it will send out push notifications, and use its social media presence to inform them of deadlines to register to vote.

In a statement to The Drive Lyft stated, "The discount is applied to transportation to the polls only. Voting is every citizen's right, which means there are a number of regulations in place to protect against voter fraud or buying someone's vote. There are strict rules against gifts or incentives, and providing free or discounted transportation back from the polls falls into that category."

When asked how it determined underserved communities, Lyft said, "Studies have shown that Black and Hispanic citizens, for whom the poverty rate is close to three times that of others nationally, are substantially more likely to report transportation problems, in addition to bad time options/polling locations, as reasons for not getting to the polls. 

“Making it easier for everyone to vote is extremely important to us, and we felt that by partnering with organizations like Voto Latino, who we’ve worked with in the past, we could empower even more people across the country to make it to the polls on election day. In short, we will be leaning on our community partners to determine who should be eligible for free rides and distributing those codes and/or setting up rides for them via our concierge feature. The [50 percent] off discount code will be available to everyone."