Lyft Piloting Discounted Rides to Grocery Stores for Food Desert Residents
Ride-hailing companies are changing the way our society moves, in cities and even between them. Both Uber and Lyft have already partnered with local governments to provide subsidized rides in lieu of public transportation.
Now Lyft has partnered with Martha's Table, a Washington DC non-profit, to provide heavily discounted rides to families living in food deserts.
"Food deserts are defined as parts of the country void of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas," according to the DC Policy Center and Lyft. "This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers."
150,000 people currently reside in DC's Wards 7 and 8, where they have access to just three grocery stores. 81% of those residents are in areas far enough away from the grocery stores to be classified as living in a food desert.
The Lyft Grocery Access Program will identify 500 families to join the program and participants will receive codes to travel to participating grocery stores or Martha's Table, which also provides meals to low-income families.
Families will receive 50 rides priced at $2.50 each (and aren't subject to surge pricing) from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2019. That's an estimated cost of just $5 per week, per family.
To qualify families "must have a child enrolled at one of the seven participating elementary schools or Martha’s Table programming and attend an in-person orientation with Martha’s Table and Lyft." To see more information on the program and to sign-up, head to the Lyft Grocery Access Program splash page.
Lyft says it may expand the program in January.