Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Transportation companies help voters get to the polls

Picture of a sign that says "vote here" in a polling station in New York.

Photo: Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Ride-hailing companies and other tech mobility firms are trying to make sure all eligible citizens have an opportunity to vote.

Why it matters: A 2016 Harvard study found 14% of eligible voters cited transportation as a barrier to casting their ballot.

What's happening: Transportation companies are helping people find their polling place, providing discounted rides to the polls — and even handing out free food to those waiting in line to vote.

  • Uber has a poll-finding feature in its app and is offering 50% off trips to the polls, while Uber Eats is deploying 250 food trucks across 25 cities to feed voters.
  • Lyft is also offering discounted rides to the polls, and partnering with nonprofit groups to provide free ride codes to underserved communities and formerly incarcerated people.
  • TransLoc, whose technology is used by 400 transit agencies in the U.S., has incorporated polling places into its transit maps.

What they're saying: “Transportation should never be a barrier to getting to the polls, no matter how you choose to cast your ballot on Election Day — especially for those in underserved areas and those who need it most,” Anthony Foxx, Lyft's chief policy officer, said in a statement.

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