Affordable transportation can be a huge obstacle for low-income workers pursuing new employment—which is why Lyft is now offering free and discounted rides to passengers who are starting at new jobs.
The company’s newly-launched Jobs Access Program will help to facilitate free transportation for unemployed people who are attending job interviews, job training, or their first three weeks of work prior to receiving their first pay check.
“Everyone needs access to reliable, affordable transportation—to get to work, visit the doctor, make it to school, or simply participate in city life,” the company wrote in a blog post. “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.
“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.”
With the help of various nonprofit partners, the $50 million program is launching in more than 35 US and Canadian cities.
The program will also pay particular attention to vulnerable populations such as veterans and people with disabilities.
One of Lyft’s program 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.”
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