Uber Offering $10 Discount on Rides to the Polls, But With Caveats
The discount will arrive as a promo code on the Uber app on Nov. 6, Election Day. But it’ll only apply to the cheapest Uber ride available on the app, starting with the Express Pool option, which requires you to meet at a pickup location to board your ride.
The discount will arrive as a promo code on the Uber app on Nov. 6, Election Day. But it’ll only apply to the cheapest Uber ride available on the app, starting with the Express Pool option, which requires you to meet at a pickup location to board your ride
Uber will offer discounted and potentially free rides to the polls on Election Day, but there are conditions.
The company will take $10 off a single ride to the polls, but only on the most affordable transportation option within the Uber app. That means the discount will be first applied to Express Pool rides, which requires you to walk to a nearby pickup site and share the car with other passengers.
If that option isn’t available in your locality, the company will apply the discount on an Uber Pool ride, and then a typical Uber X ride, in that order.
The $10 discount can potentially cover the full cost of the fare, depending on the distance. For instance, in San Francisco, a $10 fare over Uber’s Express Pool can let you travel up to 8 miles in the middle of the day. However, the company is only covering the commute to the polling site, and not back to your home or office. So don’t expect a completely free ride.
Uber’s $10 discount will arrive on Nov. 6 as a promo code that’ll pop up over the app. You can use it by going into the app’s payment tab and selecting the “Add Promo Code” option. You can then book your ride through a newly included “Get to the Poll” button in the app, which will also appear on Election Day.
The discount will be available to all US riders, except in Utah, Michigan, and Puerto Rico, where discounted rides to polling places have been banned, an Uber spokesperson said. The company also reserves the right to stop issuing the promo codes due to abuse or unanticipated demand.
If you’re in need of transportation to and from the polling place, Uber has been offering a separate discount. It’s done so via promo codes — at $7 to cover each ride — through the nonprofit, #VoteTogether, which has been helping voters cast ballots in states with early voting.
However, getting access to these promo codes isn’t as clear-cut; you have to contact the nonprofit group’s partners.
According to Uber, #VoteTogether has already sent out the promo codes to 15,000 potential voters. The nonprofit works by helping citizens organize nonpartisan Election Day parties to encourage people to cast their ballots. “Our partners are marketing out the code, so if you are a person looking for transportation and know of a VoteTogether event, you can get information through your local partner,” a spokeswoman for the nonprofit told PCMag. You can search for one of these nonpartisan parties through the VoteTogether site.
Uber is also partnering with another nonprofit, Democracy Works, to distribute $10 discounts for a single ride to the polls. The discounts will be offered through the nonprofit’s TurboVote.org election tool reminder. You’ll have to sign up and then message the tool about obtaining the promo code.
In addition, Lyft has been offering free rides to the polls, but not directly though the app. The company is distributing them as promo codes through three nonprofit partners: Voto Latino, local Urban League affiliates, and the National Federation of the Blind.
“The discount code only covers transportation to the polls — not back,” a Lyft spokeswoman told PCMag. “There are strict rules against gifts or incentives, and providing free or discounted transportation back from the polls falls into that category.”
“However, most polling locations are close to homes — making it easier to get back,” the spokeswoman added.
Lyft is leaving it up to the nonprofits on how they wish to distribute the promo codes, which may make them hard to obtain. The three groups didn’t appear to be promoting the free rides prominently over their websites, but that may change as Election Day draws nearer. Lyft will also provide a separate 50 percent discount via promo codes through Vote.org, Nonprofit Vote, and TurboVote.
The National Federation of the Blind told PCMag it’s issuing the codes to its members through the group’s local affiliates, which are present in all 50 states. “Most of our members are on email lists, social media, etc. from affiliate leaders, or those leaders have other ways to reach out to them,” a federation spokesman said.
Voto Latino and the National Urban League did not respond for comment.
Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to clarify the different Uber discounts offered through #VoteTogether and Democracy Works.