Uber and Lyft offer free rides for voters


A&E Assistant Editor Sarah Reiff ’20 uses a ridesharing app to reach the polls. Companies, like Lyft and Uber, partnered with nonprofit organizations to offer free rides for voters. Staged photo by Lindsay Wu and Luke Schneider/Chronicle

Emma Shapiro

Ridesharing companies announced a nonpartisan campaign for the midterm elections to offer free rides to the polls for voters. Uber and Lyft both hoped to increase the voter turnout on election day, according to KY3, a magazine based in Springfield, Illinois.

Voters who were unable to reach the polls because of transportation problems utilized the offer to make it to their polling stations.

This policy benefited new voters, disabled groups and the elderly with their possible transportation issues, according to the car-based news website Fast Company.

Uber and Lyft partnered with nonprofit organizations in order to improve accessibility to the polls and voter turnout. Uber worked with When We All Vote to register voters and #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to provide free rides to voters in underserved communities, according to its official website. Lyft also worked with When We All Vote, as well as nonprofit partners including Voto Latino and League of Women Voters, according to its blog.

“I think that this policy will benefit disabled groups and provide extra assistance and service to those in need,” Rebecca Sugerman ’19 said. “This will incentivize the election by making free transportation a reason to go to the polls.”

Lyft first announced 50% off election day rides in September, according to its blog. In addition to its other promotions, Uber announced in October a button on its app that will help voters find the closest polling place and $10 off an UberPool ride, according to Time.

“If your excuse was that you didn’t have transportation to the polls, this policy solves that problem by offering free rides to the election,” Sugerman said.