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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.

Go deeper

California fines Uber $59 million over sexual assault data

Photo: Liu Guanguan/China News Service via Getty Images

A judge ordered Uber on Monday to pay a $59 million fine to California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and threatened to suspend its state permit to operate if the firm fails to do so within 30 days.

The big picture: The judge found the ride-hailing giant had failed to share data with the regulator following Uber's safety report last year, which revealed that U.S. users reported nearly 6,000 incidents of sexual assault and harassment on trips made in 2017 and 2018.

Feb 17, 2020 - Technology

The next decade of smart city growth

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Transportation and energy upgrades are expected to be the big drivers of smart city spending over the next decade.

Why it matters: Global spending on smart city projects will reach nearly $124 billion this year, an 18% increase over 2019, according to IDC, a market research firm.

38 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israel launches maximum pressure campaign against Ben & Jerry's

A Ben & Jerry's store in the Israeli city of Yavne. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty

The Israeli government has formed a special task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's ice cream and its parent company Unilever to reverse their decision to boycott Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is concerned the move by Ben & Jerry's will encourage other international companies to take similar steps to differentiate between Israel and the West Bank settlements. A classified Foreign Ministry cable, seen by Axios, makes clear the government wants to send a message.