A Real Voter Drive from Lyft

By Hazel Butler
The gig economy gets out the vote.

CNN recently noted that 35 percent of young Americans without college educations said that one reason they didn’t vote was because they couldn’t physically make it to their polling place, according to a Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement report about the 2016 election. 

To help address this, on-demand transit service Lyft pitched in for the United States midterm elections with half-price rides for anyone on their way to vote. Working with TurboVote, the Urban League, the Federation for the Blind, and other organizations, Lyft also offered free shared rides to voters in selected underserved communities. 

“It’s about using our voice and our platform to make sure folks have access to go vote,” Mike Masserman, Lyft’s head of social impact, told CNN. Among others, Michelle Obama weighed in on Twitter to express her support, saying “We can each do our part to help all eligible voters make their voices heard in this upcoming election and every election.” 

In a similarly civic-minded effort, Lyft expanded its Relief Rides program in May, offering travelers free trips during times of crisis or disasters. And they pledged $1.5 million for low-income and veteran riders.