As political campaigns enter the last stretch of the midterm season, Uber and Lyft are serious about getting voters to the ballot box on Nov. 6.
Ride-hailing company Uber announced it's offering free rides for Uber users who need transportation to their polling places on Election Day.
The company will display a “Get to the Polls” button on the Uber app to help users find their designated polling place and allow users to book a free ride. The company has also partnered with the nonprofit civic engagement group When We All Vote to distribute voter registration information via the Uber app and help drivers and riders register to vote.
“Using our technology and resources, we can help make it easier for every Uber rider in the U.S. to get to their polling place at the push of a button,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a company statement on Oct. 4.
Lyft announced in August that it would provide 50 percent discount codes across the country through partners like Vote.org, TurboVote and Nonprofit Vote to encourage Lyft users to get to their polling places. The company has also partnered with Voto Latino, Urban League affiliates and the National Federation of the Blind to provide free rides for underserved communities.
“Your voice is important! We’re excited to help make it heard in this year’s elections,” Lyft said in a statement Aug. 23.
Lyft cited a Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement report that found that more than 15 million people who were registered to vote in 2016 did not vote because of transportation issues. Uber also referred to transportation barriers as a reason for their decision.
As of March 2017, 185,000 people registered their cars as ride-hailing vehicles through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Washington, D.C. has seen an explosion in ride-hailing services over the past three years, which may be a sign that companies like Uber and Lyft could be averaging about 123,000 rides per day, The Washington Post reported.
“Decisions get made by those who show up. This Election Day, Uber will be doing what we can to make it easier for people to do just that,” Khosrowshahi said. “On November 6, I hope everyone does one thing: vote!”