Lyft, Uber To Offer Homeless Veterans Free Rides To And From Jobs, Interviews

Ride-hailing companies have always shared a bit of a spirited rivalry: a hacker redirected Uber’s petition site to Lyft and Lyft accused Uber employees of requesting and then canceling 5,600 rides. But today the companies announced they would put their differences aside and team up to offer free rides for veterans in need of transportation to and from jobs and interviews. 

Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative that works to support veterans and their families, announced today that the ride hailing companies have committed to donating free rides to veterans experiencing homelessness.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development there are more than 49,000 veterans experiencing homelessness on any given day. The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that about 68% of these veterans live in cities where there is no reliable transpiration, making it difficult to reach needed services and employment opportunities.

To help these veterans, Uber and Lyft will donate tens of thousands of free rides throughout the coming year.

In all, Uber says it will contribute at least 10,000 rides across five veteran organizations affiliated with the Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

The rides, which will be administered by employment counselors who work with veterans each week, are meant to provide on-demand transportation to jobs, interviews and other employment events.

Lyft has yet to provide the exact number of ride it plans to provide, but a spokesperson tells TechCrunch it is “donating thousands of rides.”

In addition to offering free rides to veterans, Uber announced today that it would allow other riders the ability to get in on the action.

On Wednesday – Veterans Day – the company will allow riders and drivers in more than 150 cities to donate $5 toward a ride for a veteran.

To donate, individuals using the service simply open the Uber app, slide the toggle to “VETS DAY,” and order an UberX. Once the ride is complete, they’ll receive a text about the $5 donation. To complete the donation, riders must reply to the message with a “Yes” response.

[via TechCrunch]

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