Voting is important, but as many voters know, it’s not always easy to get to the polls. A Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data found that a lack of transportation was one of the top 10 reasons registered voters don’t actually vote. Another recent survey found that 14% of nonvoters didn’t make it to the polls, even though they were registered to vote, because of transportation issues. When looking at the transportation woes of nonvoters under the age of 30, that number balloons to 29%.
This year, private companies, nonprofits, and government organizations are stepping in to make sure that everyone who wants to reach the polls, can. We’ve rounded up some options below:
On Election Day, bike-share operator Motivate is offering free rentals in nine of its bike share programs across the country. This includes Citi Bike in New York City and Jersey City; Divvy in Chicago; CoGo in Columbus, Ohio; Bluebikes in Boston; Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C.; Nice Ride Minnesota in Minneapolis; Ford GoBike in the Bay Area; and even Biketown in Portland, Oregon (even though the state has a vote-by-mail system). The code for a free day pass for most Motivate programs is BIKETOVOTE. For details, check here.
— Citi (@Citi) November 2, 2018
Ride To Vote
If you’re in Georgia, get a free ride to the polls by simply texting. More details here.
Go ahead and scoot to the polls thanks to Lime. Wannabe voters in over 100 cities can hop aboard one of Lime’s shared bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters for a free 30-minute ride to a polling station with the code LIME2VOTE18.
— Lime (@limebike) October 25, 2018
Lyft is providing 50% off or up to $5 off rides across the country to people heading to the polls. Access Lyft’s promo codes here. The company is also providing free rides to underserved communities “that face significant obstacles to transportation” through nonpartisan, nonprofit partners, including local Urban League affiliates; the National Federation of the Blind; Faith in Action; League of Women Voters; the Student Vets of America; and Voto Latino, which is helping voters in Dodge City, Kansas, reach the city’s sole polling place (after it was moved outside of the city, more than a mile from public transportation). For senior citizens, GreatCall has partnered with Lyft, which allows users to simply press zero on their Jitterbug phones to speak to an operator, who will request a ride on their behalf.
In partnership with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works, the ride-hail company is offering $10 off a single ride to the polls on Election Day, but only on the most affordable Uber option available in your city (Express POOL, POOL or UberX, in that order). Update your app to the most recent version and enter promo code VOTE2018.
You drive the vote, we’ll get you to the polls. Learn more about how we’re helping people show up on Election Day. https://t.co/ftLaWCEhZ7
— Uber (@Uber) October 4, 2018
Peer-to-peer car-sharing company Getaround is offering $10 off Election Day bookings with the promo code GETAROUND2VOTE across the Bay Area, as well as in Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, New York City, Miami, and San Diego. The discount’s valid through November 7.
Zipcar is offering election discounts. Customers who take a Zipcar on election night (November 6, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.) get $20 off a future trip. More info on their #DriveTheVote campaign here.
Rides for the elderly and people with disabilities
For voters with disabilities, local public transit agencies can help arrange so-called paratransit rides to the polls. According to AARP, contact your Area Agency on Aging or transit provider for details. Alternatively, many local companies offer dial-a-ride or van services, which can be found on this Eldercare Locator map by searching “Transportation” and filtering by zip code. Nationwide, there are also networks of volunteers providing free rides to the elderly and people with disabilities. Search for programs here. Registered users can call Arrive Rides, and GoGoGrandparent has also set up hotlines so users can request a ride in advance to be chauffeured to the polls.