Lyft links up with JP Morgan Chase, Anthem Inc., and United Way to help millions of Americans in underserved areas get access to the COVID-19 vaccine. As the vaccination rollout is the largest health effort in U.S. history, the brands can do their part to make sure everyone has access. Through the effort, Lyft hopes to provide up to 60 million free rides to vaccination sites across the country, with a focus on helping those in at-risk or low income communities. Lyft and its partners will offer free rides on a rolling basis as vaccines become available in different areas at different times of the year. The ride campaign follows Lyft’s 2020 effort to bring Americans to polling places during the presidential election.
Though the costs of rides are being covered by Lyft’s corporate partners, consumers can also donate to help those in need get a ride. United Way teamed up with Lyft to raise money for the effort, which includes a microsite for donations and social media promotions explaining the initiative. Those in need of a ride can order one through Lyft’s mobile apps, by contacting United Way online, or through a specialty phone number set up for the effort. Offering increased accessibility to the free ride program could help Lyft reach more of those in need as well as boost its virtual image as a benevolent brand helping out during the pandemic, according to a Gartner report. Rides to vaccination sites caps off Lyft’s series of support during the pandemic, which also included free rides for healthcare and frontline workers and food and grocery delivery to those in need across the country. As rideshare rates stumbled during the pandemic, Lyft’s philanthropic efforts could help keep it top of mind with homebound consumers who may remember the brand when the time comes to take rides again.
Offering free rides to vaccination sites allows Lyft to mobilize its community for good. The effort could help the brand build trust while boosting its benevolent image, which is of greater importance as consumers prioritize brands that give back during the pandemic.