United Way Launches Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign
Expanding program with Lyft and Allen & Allen to increase access to COVID-19 Vaccines
RICHMOND, Va. (May 17, 2021) – Today, United Way Greater Richmond & Petersburg announced the launch of the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign, providing access to free and discounted rides to vaccine sites for people in the Richmond region. It is in partnership with Lyft and made possible in part by a $10,000 donation from the personal injury law firm of Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen.
Vaccination rides are the latest implementation of the Ride United program, which seeks to reduce transportation barriers that prevent community members from accessing health care, getting quality jobs, completing education programs, and more. Transportation has proven to be a key issue for many individuals looking to obtain their vaccines.
In December 2020, Lyft announced its commitment to help provide access to rides to and from vaccine appointments alongside coalition partners, including United Way. Utilizing the Lyft network, participating local United Way and 211 teams are able to provide resources to eligible community members, ensuring they have access to transportation for their vaccination appointments. As the county, state and federal response to vaccine rollout continues, the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign helps people get the COVID-19 vaccine, even if they lack transportation.
“When it comes to ensuring everyone has access to vaccines, bridging the transportation gap to the sites is critical,” said James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “At United Way, we are passionate about creating community partnerships that make a difference, and we’re thrilled to have the support of Allen & Allen and Lyft.”
“We’ve long admired the work that United Way does across the region, and we’re thrilled to have the chance to partner with them to increase vaccine access,” said Edward Allen, president of the Allen Law Firm. “At our firm, we are committed to protecting the injured, and in this case, we are excited to be a part of an initiative that’s going to help with bringing the pandemic to a close and ultimately, save lives around the region.”
United Way supports 211, a free and confidential service leveraged by millions of people across North America. Every day, clients contact 211 to access crisis and emergency counseling, disaster assistance, food, health care and insurance assistance, stable housing and utilities payment assistance, employment services, veteran services, and childcare and family services. 211 receives more than 250,000 requests for transportation assistance each year in the U.S alone.
“The Ride United Transportation Access Vaccine Rides program is one of the COVID-inspired innovations that we are most proud of. By quickly galvanizing our corporate supporters and matching their resources with the unmet needs in our communities, United Way will be able to help provide access to rides to our communities’ most vulnerable residents to access their COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Suzanne McCormick, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “We are proud to partner with Lyft to solve this unmet need and we are proud to offer relief as America continues on the road to recovery.”
Since the start of Ride United in 2018, Lyft has provided tens of thousands of rides in more than 40 markets.
As of May 17, the program is underway in the Richmond region. The program will provide free rides to and from vaccine appointments, worth up to $120 in ride credits for individuals receiving their first and second doses of the vaccine. For those interested in utilizing the service.
211 is a vital service leveraged by millions of people across North America. Every day, clients contact 211 to access free and confidential crisis and emergency counseling, disaster assistance, food, health care and insurance assistance, stable housing and utilities payment assistance, employment services, veteran services and childcare and family services. Last year, 211 responded to over 12 million requests for assistance across the United States. The service is available to over 95% of the U.S. population, including in Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, and is also available in most of Canada. Individuals in need or who are looking for information for someone else can call 211 from a cell phone or landline or visit www.211.org for more contact options.
Lyft was founded in 2012 and is one of the largest transportation networks in the United States and Canada. As the world shifts away from car ownership to transportation-as-a-service, Lyft is at the forefront of this massive societal change. Our transportation network brings together rideshare, bikes, scooters, car rentals and transit all in one app. We are singularly driven by our mission: to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.