Lyft, Uber Offer Free Rides for Shots

Biden administration cuts deal to run through July 4
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2021 1:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – As part of the push to administer at least one coronavirus vaccination shot to 70% of US adults by Independence Day, President Biden's administration has a plan to handle the transportation for those needing a ride. Uber and Lyft will handle the round trip for vaccine recipients through July 4, officials announced Tuesday. The offer will begin in the next two weeks, Axios reports. Statements by the White House and Uber called the rides free, but Lyft said it would pay $15 of the cost each way, which the ride-sharing company said should handle most or all of the fare, per CNBC. The plan will eliminate a barrier to being vaccinated, the administration said. So far, more than 46% of the population has had at least one dose and more than 34% is fully vaccinated, Bloomberg's tracker shows.

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Vaccine recipients will start by picking a site, then provide details on Lyft's app or website and receive a code. The code also can be used for Lyft's scooters or bikes. Uber didn't say how its offer will work yet. The government isn't spending anything but will provide the companies with the locations of 80,000 vaccination sites. Demand for the vaccines has been fading, per the Wall Street Journal, with several states declining to take their full allotment. Both companies cited the importance of as many people as possible being vaccinated, saying that's good for their drivers and customers. (Free beer might increase the number of vaccinations, too.)

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