Lyft is committing $1.5 million to its Relief Rides program. The idea has historically been to better support people during times of crisis, such as natural disasters or other emergency situations. Now, Lyft is expanding its reach to help people who may need rides to job interviews or medical appointments.
One of the partners Lyft is looking to continue working with is Caritas of Austin, an organization that seeks to prevent and end homelessness. Already, Lyft has partnered with New Orleans-based Youth Empowerment Project to help people get to appointments and job interviews.
Lyft has been riding the do-good train as of late. Last month, Lyft announced a multi-million-dollar investment in carbon offsets. The hope with that initiative is to offset the impact of the numerous Lyft cars on the road.
But Lyft is not perfect. While it aims to increase access to transportation through this $1.5 million commitment, the ride-hailing company has a lackluster approach to serving the needs of people with disabilities.
In March, Disability Rights Advocates filed a class-action lawsuit against Lyft, alleging the company discriminates against people who use wheelchairs by not making wheelchair-accessible cars available in the San Francisco Bay Area.
At the time, a Lyft spokesperson said it currently has “partnerships and programs in place to provide enhanced WAV access in various parts of the country, and are actively exploring ways to expand them nationwide.”
Hopefully, some of this money will go toward ensuring Lyft’s core product is genuinely accessible to everyone. In a blog post today, Lyft said it’s working “with strong local and national partners” and will “expand these partnerships to support a diverse array of people, depending on the needs of each local community.”