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Lyft Partners With National Down Syndrome Society for Free Rides

People with disabilities face many barriers to gaining employment. Ride-sharing company Lyft, in partnership with disability and veterans’ organizations, wants to remove at least one of those difficulties by providing access to free transportation.

On Oct. 17, Lyft announced its Jobs Access Program, which will offer free rides to people seeking employment, especially within the disability and veteran communities. This will include free rides to and from job training programs and job interviews as well as free rides for up to three weeks to and from a new job until the employee gets their first paycheck. The initiative is part of Lyft’s $50 million annual commitment to charitable projects to support communities.

To implement its Job Access Program, Lyft partnered with a number of nonprofit organizations to provide free or low-cost rides to employment seekers, including the National Down Syndrome Society, Goodwill, United Way, the USO and Year Up, among others.

The announcement also comes during National Disability Employment Awareness Month. According to 2018 statistics published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 80% of people with disabilities are not in the workforce, compared to nearly 32% of those without disabilities. Access to employment, of which transportation is a factor, remains a major focus in the disability community.

“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,” Ashley Helsing, National Down Syndrome Society director of government relations, said in a blog post. “The ability to get around easily, especially for employment in the disability community, is crucial to the future.”

If you’re interested in the Jobs Access Program, Lyft said many of the rides provided will be administered through established programs from its partner organizations. Lyft recommended reaching out to the National Down Syndrome Society (or its other partner organizations) to learn how you can book a ride.

Header image via Lyft