Everyone needs access to reliable, affordable transportation — to get to work, visit the doctor, make it to school, or simply participate in city life. In fact, a recent study pinpoints commuting time as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. Our own study shows that 44% of Lyft rides start or end in low income areas, and that our passengers saved 178 million hours compared to other transportation modes.
Lyft is committed to expanding transportation access to those who need it most. In May, we announced a $50M annual commitment to improve our cities through transportation infrastructure, donated transportation, and sustainability initiatives.
As part of that commitment, we’re excited to announce Lyft’s Jobs Access Program, a new initiative that aims to close short-term transportation gaps related to employment access and job training. For the unemployed, reliable transportation to a job interview or to the first few weeks of work can mean the difference between successful, long-term employment and lost opportunities. So we’ve partnered with several leading national and local organizations dedicated to workforce development in order to deliver free or discounted rides to people making their way through the employment pipeline.
Lyft’s Jobs Access Program will focus on three key interventions in the employment pipeline that are critical to individual success, and where transportation can play a major role:
Rides to/from job training programs
Rides to/from job interviews
Rides to/from the first three weeks of employment, until individuals receive their first paycheck and begin to pay for their own transportation
We are focused on communities that stand to benefit most from short-term transportation support, ranging from veterans to individuals with disabilities. Our nonprofit partners will play a vital role of connecting individuals in need with Lyft rides in 35+ markets across the U.S. and Canada.
One of our partners is the National Down Syndrome Society. According to Ashley Helsing, NDSS’ Director of Government Relations, “There are roughly two million people living with disabilities in the United States. Of those two million, nearly 30 percent, or 560,000 people, are unable to leave their home because of transportation barriers. The ability to get around easily, especially for employment in the disability community, is crucial to the future.”
In addition to NDSS, our national partners include:
“United Way believes that people of all ages and abilities should have an opportunity to improve their economic status through employment,” said Alicia Lara, Senior Vice President, Impact, United Way Worldwide. “When we work with corporate partners like Lyft in pursuit of this goal, the entire community benefits and together, we can affect sweeping change that benefits us all.”
This program builds on Lyft’s ongoing partnerships with cities and transit agencies to provide longer-term jobs access solutions. Across the country, transit agencies partner with Lyft to extend the reach of public transit and create additional reliable transportation options to and from work that do not require owning a car. These partnerships are a critical lifeline for many communities and people with non-traditional work schedules, accommodating geographies and time periods that are often challenging to serve with traditional fixed-route transit. For example, public agencies in Detroit and Washington, D.C. have partnered with Lyft to provide affordable rides for workers commuting from work during late-night hours.
You can join Lyft in supporting this important work by donating to partners like the USO through our Round Up & Donate program. With each ride, your donation will help support the USO’s efforts to connect transitioning service members and veterans with Jobs Access rides, as well as support programs for active service members and their families. Tap ‘Donate’ in the main menu of your Lyft app to opt-in.