The midterm elections are right around the corner, and as polling places ramp up for the big day, some voters face a huge barrier when getting to the ballot box — transportation.
According to the The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), six million people between the ages of 18 and 29 didn’t vote in 2016, even though they were registered. A survey by CIRCLE shows 29% of youth voters cited lack of transportation as a reason they didn’t vote and among youth of color that number was 38%.
To help curb this trend, Lyft is offering half-priced rides for people trying to cast their ballot and free rides to those living in underserved communities. The ride-hailing service will be working with organizations such as The National Urban League and Vote Latino to make this initiative happen.
Here’s how it would work. There will be one general code for people trying to get to the polls on November 6. Those codes will be distributed by groups like Vote Latino and The National Urban League. For voters who may not have access to a smartphone, Lyft is offering rides through its Concierge feature, and employees from those organizations will hail rides for people in their communities.
“We want to use our platform to help those with transportation barriers and allow for everyone to exercise their right to vote and ensure their voices can be heard in this upcoming election” Mike Masserman, Lyft’s Head of Social Impact told Afrotech.
According to the Washington Post, 43 percent of eligible voters did not cast a ballot in 2016.