Updated November 2019
Since 2018, United Way for Greater Austin has partnered with Lyft in a variety of ways to support the transportation needs of our 2-1-1 callers. This post may no longer accurately reflect our current partnership with Lyft. Please call 2-1-1 for the most up-to-date information.
Since the summer of 2012, Lyft has been giving a lift to patrons in need all around the country. Ride sharing and the “gig-economy” have become a very important staple in our society, and Lyft is ahead of the game when it comes to upping social impact in the communities it operates within. In 2018, Lyft partnered with United Ways in 12 markets around the United States, to perform a 6-month pilot test of making ride-share available for citizens in need, and Austin, TX was one of those lucky markets!
In 2017, the 2-1-1 network received more than 250,000 transportation requests from across the country, and on average 25% of these needs could not be met with existing resources (a heavily present issue in Austin, TX where we lack strong public transportation). That’s where Lyft came in. In an effort to address this need more effectively, United Ways around the country were able to provide 12,277 free Lyft rides over the 6-month pilot period. In Austin, TX alone our Navigation Center team were able to schedule more than 2,100 Lyft rides for local residents who were in need of rides to medical appointments, workforce-related services (like job training or interviews), or for any veteran service.
With such a highly successful pilot program, we are thrilled to continue our work with Lyft in connecting fellow Austinites to services they are in need of through the #RideUnited partnership. The program will be ongoing for large cities around the country, and Austin, TX will continue to connect our community to services they need.
To have a free ride scheduled with Lyft, call 2-1-1 today.
Free Lyft rides may be scheduled for needs related to:
+ Food Services, which includes food pantries, grocery stores, soup kitchens, farmer’s markets, congregate meals/nutrition sites, and the Summer Food Program.
+ Public Benefits Services, which includes Texas HHSC benefits, MAP eligibility, Social Security, Medicare, Community Partner Participants, and veterans benefits.
+ We are currently scheduling rides for anyone needing transportation for emergency food or benefit application assistance in the following zip codes: 78617, 78653, 78660, 78719, 78724, 78725, and 78742.
+ Rides can be scheduled by dialing 2-1-1 and selecting option one, Monday – Thursday 7:30 am – 6:00 pm, and Friday 7:30 am – 5:00 pm.
+ Rides are available on a one-time basis for individuals for whom other transportation services and resources are not available.
+ Rides can be booked on-demand or scheduled up to 1 week in advance.
Call 2-1-1 today for any basic need you have, and to find out more about the #RideUnited service through our partnership with Lyft. Connecting our community to what they need is what we do, so let us help close the gaps for you and your family.