Uber and Lyft have officially started to offer free rides to anyone traveling to get a COVID-19 vaccine, two weeks after the ride-hailing companies announced an agreement with the White House to offer the program.
The free rides will last through July 4, the date when President Joe Biden wants 70% of U.S. adults to be vaccinated. Lyft and Uber have previously told TechCrunch the companies will cover the costs of the rides. The White House advised on the development and launch of the product. The White House also shared data on the more than 80,000 vaccination sites in the country, an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Uber is giving riders four one-way rides up to $25 off each. Each of these two round trips must be three weeks apart between Monday and July 4, Uber said in a blog post. Riders can access the program by opening the Uber app and tapping “vaccine” and then “get your free ride.” The free rides are offered between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Riders must enter the ZIP code of their appointment to find the location they are going to or coming from. The rider then selects the provider location and the ride option.
Lyft is offering two roundtrip rides up to $15 each trip. Lyft said if either ride costs more than $15 or if the rider tips their driver, those additional charges will hit their personal form of payment. Lyft is also requiring these free rides be three weeks apart.
The vaccine access program follows efforts by both companies to provide free and discounted rides to underserved communities as well as roll out features to make it easier to access vaccine information and point-of-distribution sites. Uber first rolled out a COVID-relief program in March to offer free rides and deliveries. In December, the company said it would give an additional 10 million free or discounted rides.
Uber announced in April that it was launching more than a half-dozen new features, including one that will let users book vaccine appointments at Walgreens and reserve a ride to get their jab.
Lyft kicked off in December a universal vaccine access campaign, a coalition of partners that includes JPMorgan Chase, Anthem and United Way, to provide 60 million rides to and from vaccination sites for low-income, uninsured and at-risk communities.
Article By: Kirsten Korosec