By Mandy Froelich / Truth Theory
Acquiring transportation to a job interview can be a huge obstacle for low-income workers pursuing new employment. For this reason, the ride-sharing service Lyft is offering free and discounted rides to passengers who are starting new jobs.
The company’s newly-launched Jobs Access Program will provide free transportation for unemployed people who are attending job interviews, job training, or their first three weeks of work prior to receiving their first paycheck.
The company explained in a blog post:
“Everyone needs access to reliable, affordable transportation—to get to work, visit the doctor, make it to school, or simply participate in city life. In fact, a recent study pinpoints commuting time as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. Our own study shows that 44% of Lyft rides start or end in low income areas, and that our passengers saved 178 million hours compared to other transportation modes.
“So we’ve partnered with several leading national and local organizations dedicated to workforce development in order to deliver free or discounted rides to people making their way through the employment pipeline.”
The $50 million program was made possible with the help of various nonprofit partners and will be launching in more than 35 US and Canadian cities. As GoodNewsNetwork reports, the program aims to pay particular attention to vulnerable populations, such as veterans and people with handicaps.
One of the Lyft program partners is the National Down Syndrome Society. Said Ashley Helsing, NDSS’ Director of Government Relations:
“There are roughly two million people living with disabilities in the United States. Of those two million, nearly 30 percent, or 560,000 people, are unable to leave their home because of transportation barriers. The ability to get around easily, especially for employment in the disability community, is crucial to the future.”
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