Lyft will give free and half-price rides to the polls on election day

Originally published at:


Notably, “The promotion does not include a discounted or free return trip.” CNN seems to have left that particular detail out of its press release article.


6 years ago, I moved to Oregon, where everyone votes by mail (or free secure drop-box). Now, I can’t imagine going back to a system where transportation/time off/illness/whatever affect my ability to cast my vote.

As I side benefit, I get the chance to sit with the ballot and research each candidate and issue - no need to take a cheat-sheet or memorize my voting plans. It’s really pretty darn great.


25% off a round trip ride is not going to help anyone making less than $20K / year, or $40K
/ year for that matter.

Furthermore, this will probably backfire by adding additional cars on the road, creating more congestion and diverting people away from more efficient modes of transportation.

That’s unfortunate.

Years ago, I worked with a grassroots org that registered people to vote and provided free transportation to and from the polls if the people they registered needed it.


You also have the issue that the places with the biggest transportation issues on election day. Both in terms of individual urban neighborhoods that are under served by infrastructure, which cabs and ride shares tend to avoid. And more spread out cities, suburbs and rural areas where there just aren’t any cars at all.

If they really wanted this to work it’d be free carpool rides there and back. And they’d pay the drivers a bonus for working specific areas near them with an issue. Much more like traditional busing and car pooling to the polls is done.

As this stands it seems like another marketing ploy that will mostly benefit their already well off, white customers who don’t really need any help getting to the polls. Designed to further position lyft as the non evil competitor to Uber.

Might help getting students to the polls. Tend to be lots of uber and especially lyft in college downs. But that’s the only voter suppression target group I can see this really working for.


Would be cool if they teamed up with the Urban League…


Both of the major political parties provide rides for people with Transportation problems on election day. Call your local Democratic or Republican Party office and ask about a ride.
They will do their best to get you to your polling place.

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That’s stupid af. Why would they leave that out of the article?

I guess it’s still better than paying for the entire trip out-of-pocket, but I don’t see it being enough of an incentive to really help. At least not as much help as someone providing busses, or something.

Reading through Cory’s source article, it sounds like they are trying to do a good thing… just not being great at the follow through.

Now that I’ve also followed the link you provided, and read the page three times, I have to say I’m not seeing anywhere where they are saying they aren’t providing a ride back at half-price or free; to be fair, I also don’t see anything saying they are. It’s also possible the page has been updated since you linked to it.

Or it could be a reading fail on my part.

I just re-checked the BI article, and it’s still there. The quote I pulled is the entirety of the third paragraph.

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Yep. I don’t know what the hell I was doing. I have to stop commenting right after I wake up.

In going back through the steps I took, I see that I went to the Lyft blog page that was linked to from the CNN article:

And somehow (dumb tired brain) I convinced myself that it was your link.

They aren’t saying anything about not providing return trips on the Lyft page, so now I’m wondering where the writer got that info for the Business Insider article, since they didn’t provide any links to sources like CNN did (or, once gain, I’m totally wrong).

We’re going to try free rides with volunteers here. If it goes well this election, we may scale up a bit.

Pardon the missing Spanish. Mine isn’t good enough to get the grammar right, so I’m waiting on content from one of our volunteers.

Like @unclepatrick2 mentioned, this is a service we’re doing as the local Democrats, but we’re keeping it nonpartisan to get as many to the polls as we can.

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