Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day in the US, and multiple transportation companies want to help you vote. To make it easier to get to a local polling station, Uber, Lyft and Lime are all offering free or discounted rides to polling centers.
Lime, one of the largest electric scooter sharing companies in the US, announced that they will offer two free rides on their electric scooters on Election Day.
Access to polling places is often an issue for potential voters, especially those in lower socioeconomic areas of many US cities. Lime’s scooters have also proven to be a popular form of travel in such areas.
According to Lime Co-founder Brad Bao:
“Transportation to the polls is often a challenge for many Americans on Election Day, so we’re doing our part to help. On November 6th, Lime will offer free rides to the polls to help Americans make their voices heard and overcome a barrier that may have kept them from participating in the democratic process.”
To get to the polls and back, riders can use the discount code LIME2VOTE18 to claim two free rides up to 30 minutes. If you’re more than a 30 minute scooter ride from a polling center, an electric scooter might not be your best form of transportation.
In that case, ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft are both offering to help voters reach the polls.
Uber originally offered free rides to a number of early voters, and is now offering $10 discounts on rides to polling centers on November 6th. They will have a dedicated feature in the app which will help people find their local polling place.
Lyft, Uber’s main competitor in the ride-sharing industry, is also offering discounted rides to polling places.
According to the company:
“At Lyft, we’re working to improve lives by connecting people and their communities through the world’s best transportation. This Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6), we want to help people across America exercise their right to vote. It is estimated that over 15 million people were registered but didn’t vote in 2016 because of transportation issues. That’s why we’re committed to providing 50% off rides across the country, and free rides to underserved communities that face significant obstacles to transportation.”
Lime, Uber and Lyft all offer dockless electric scooters as part of their portfolio of urban mobility solutions. Lyft has their own Lyft-branded scooters based off the popular Xiaomi M365 electric scooter. Uber-owned Jump also offers their own electric scooter.
While Lime is offering free rides using all of their vehicles, it is not yet clear if Uber and Lyft’s electric scooters will be included in their free or discounted ride offerings.
It’s great to see these alternative transportation companies using their services to benefit citizens.
At the same time, it’s also fairly apparent that this is a great marketing opportunity. Someone who might not have otherwise had a chance to use a Lime scooter, for example, might get turned on to the service when they hear about the two free rides.
In fact, while we haven’t heard anything about free rides on Election Day from Lime’s biggest competitor Bird, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar announcement soon. The two have been engaged in something of an arms race to one-up each other. Bird announced a new scooter design and personal scooter delivery. Lime responded with their own new scooter and then went totally carbon neutral.
The two have been trying to best each other for nearly a year now, and this is latest move in scooter brinksmanship. But hey, as long as it keeps benefitting commuters, then the public wins!
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.