News or Noise: Uber, Lyft offer free rides to polling places

November 01, 2018 07:40 AM

Here's one of the many social media posts being shared: "Please spread the word that both Uber and Lyft offer free rides to polling places Nov. 6."

But, before you open your app to hail a ride, let's take a closer look at this claim.  


News10NBC found a Lyft press release. 

The release says: "It is estimated that over 15 million people were registered but didn't vote in 2016 because of transportation issues. That's why we're committed to providing 50 percent off rides across the country, and free rides to underserved communities that face significant obstacles to transportation."

If you continue reading, however, you'll see there are some restrictions. 

Fifty percent off promo codes are only distributed to those who need them through Lyft partners such as, Nonprofit VOTE, and TurboVote. 

And those free rides for "underserved communities" are provided through nonpartisan, nonprofit partners such as Voto Latino, local Urban League affiliates, and the National Federation of the Blind.

Now, let's turn our attention over to Uber. 

Uber is offering promo codes for early voting, but that doesn't apply to us here in New York state because we don't have early voting.

However, on Nov. 6, Uber will be distributing a separate election day promo code directly to users of its app and through the non-profit Democracy Works. The promo codes will be worth $10 off a single ride to a polling station with no return trip. 

To get the code, you'll need to have downloaded the most recent version of the Uber app, use the new feature that locates your polling station and you must choose the most affordable Uber option.

In conclusion, both Uber and Lyft are offering free and discounted rides to the polls next Tuesday, but there are some restrictions, making this claim 50/50.


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