United Way of Central Maryland Launches Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign
Expanding program with Lyft to increase access to COVID-19 Vaccines
Baltimore, Md (April 15, 2021) – Today, United Way of Central Maryland announced the launch of the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign, providing access to free rides in the Greater Baltimore region, in partnership with Lyft. Vaccination rides are the latest implementation of the Ride United program, which seeks to reduce transportation barriers that prevent clients from accessing healthcare, 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 platform, participating local United Ways and 211 teams are able to provide resources to eligible clients 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 eligible people get the COVID-19 vaccine, even if they lack transportation.
“Transportation continues to be one of the major barriers to getting the vaccine in our region,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “Our expanded partnership with Lyft to provide rides through our 211 Maryland United Way Helpline will be a lifeline to many of our neighbors in need.”
“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.”
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.
Since the start of Ride United in 2018, Lyft has provided tens of thousands of rides in more than 40 markets.
As of April 14, the program is underway in Greater Baltimore. To access vaccine rides, call 211.
For more information about Ride United, please visit: www.unitedway.org/rideunited
United Way of Central Maryland promotes equity, creates opportunity, and improves lives by increasing access to basic needs such as health, housing, employment, and education. Learn more at uwcm.org.
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.