Several companies are offering D.C. residents free or discounted rides to the polls on election day.
Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft and other services like Capital Bikeshare and Lime have announced markdowns on their services for election day Tuesday. Representatives from the businesses said discounts support a fundamental democratic right and reduce one barrier to community involvement – transportation to the polls.
Katelyn Chesley, a spokeswoman for Zipcar, a car-sharing company, said anyone who reserves a car between 6 and 10 p.m. on election night will receive $20 in driving credit toward a future reservation in any city Zipcar operates in. She said Zipcar’s goal is to make cities better places to live, and voting “aligns really closely” with that goal.
“We have always been passionate about enabling our members to do their civic duty, and ensuring that access to transportation is not a barrier to being involved in their community,” she said.
Lyft announced Aug. 23 that it will offer 50 percent off rides nationwide Tuesday through its partnerships with organizations like Nonprofit Vote, Vote.org and TurboVote. Darcy Yee, a spokeswoman for Lyft, said the company chose to offer the discount because young people cite transportation complications as the main reason for not voting.
“We want to use our platform to eliminate that pain point from the voting process, and ensure everyone’s voice can be heard,” she said in an email.
Uber will launch a “Get To the Polls” button on its mobile app to give users across the country free or discounted rides to their local polling places, according to an Uber press release last month. Citizens will be eligible to receive a $10 credit toward an UberPOOL to the polls.
“Many organizations and companies across the country are going the extra mile to support our democratic process,” Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, said in the press release. “At Uber, we want to do our part, too.”
Citizens planning on biking to their polling place can use the code BIKETOVOTE at Capital Bikeshare stations to obtain a free day pass or use LIME2VOTE18 to gain access to Lime bikes and scooters, NBC 4 reported Wednesday.
Motivate, Capital Bikeshare’s parent company, is operating the same promotion in all nine of its locations across the country. Motivate spokeswoman Julie Wood said in a press release Oct. 29 that the discount “aims to increase civic participation and reduce barriers to voting.”
Brad Bao, a co-founder of Lime, said in a press release that the company was “proud to continue serving our riders in innovative ways and providing them with new opportunities to be a part of a better future.”
Representatives for Uber, Capital Bikeshare and Lime did not return multiple requests for comment.