This November 6, Lyft will be offering free and subsidized rides in an effort to increase voter turnout, the company said Thursday. According to a case study cited by the startup, over 15 million registered voters didn't turn up for the 2016 presidential election due to transportation issues. By partnering with a variety of non-profit organizations, Lyft plans to give away 50-percent coupons and free rides during this Election Day. In addition, Lyft also announced that it will promote voter registration information through its app and other channels.
To help distribute the discount codes, Lyft has partnered with foundations Democracy Works, Nonprofit Vote, and Vote.org. Urban League affiliates, Voto Latino, and the National Federation of the Blind will also be helping its coupon distribution efforts. The discount codes will be available nationwide, while free rides will be available for "underserved communities." Lyft has also joined forces with National Voter Registration Day and When We All Vote to further engage potential voters. The ride-hailing service will be making voter registration and polling station information available through its app and hubs. It also plans to let its employees register to vote at its offices and encourage people to plan for Election Day. Lyft drivers may also be asked to help distribute voter information.
This isn't the first time Lyft has introduced election discounts. In 2016, both Lyft and its rival Uber assisted voters looking to get to polling places. Lyft offered a 45-percent discount and Uber partnered with Google to allow users to locate polling stations directly through its mobile app. Uber has yet to announce any similar program for the upcoming mid-terms. Both companies are also currently competing in the space of autonomous cars, with Lyft recently reaching a milestone of completing 5,000 self-driving rides. Uber, on the other hand, has had to deal with the fallout of being responsible for the first recorded civilian fatality caused by a self-driving car.