Uber, Lyft, GoBike Offer Free Rides on Election Day

There are plenty of reasons why people don’t vote.

Apathy, burnout and cumbersome registration have all been cited by researchers as common barriers to democratic participation. But for nearly a third of young Americans, the reason was more logistical. Upward of 15 million eligible voters aged 18 to 29 said they didn’t go to the polls because of transportation issues.

This year—in San Jose and a slew of other major cities, at least—those voters will have the option of a free ride, courtesy of Ford GoBike, Uber and Lyft.

Lyft led the charge by offering reduced-price rides to the polls and free rides for folks in underserved areas. Uber followed suit earlier this month, saying it would do its part by teaming up with nonprofits #VoteTogether and Democracy Works.

South Bay voters who live near one of the company’s 300-plus bike-sharing stations can unlock an access pass valid for 24 hours of unlimited 30-minute trips by using the code “BIKETOVOTE” in the Ford GoBike app.

“We’re excited to help the Bay Area pedal to the polls this Election Day,” Emily Stapleton, Ford GoBike general manager, said in an announcement about the get-out-the-vote initiative. “As voters make their plans for Nov. 6, we encourage communities from San Francisco to San Jose that are served by our bike share network to use bike share and take advantage of the no-cost rides as they fulfill their civic duty.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

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