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Election Day 2018: How to catch a free ride to the polls

This may be the first election where more people than ever scooter to the polls.
Image: A Lyft logo is installed on a Lyft driver's car next to an Uber sticker in Pittsburgh
A Lyft logo is installed on a Lyft driver's car next to an Uber sticker in Pittsburgh.Gene J. Puskar / AP file

Whether it’s by car, train, bicycle or scooter, companies are pitching in to help make sure eligible voters have a ride to the polls on Tuesday.

Three percent of registered voters who sat out the 2016 presidential election cited transportation problems as the reason why they did not vote, according to a study from Pew Research. Another analysis found that 15 million people did not vote due to transportation issues, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement.

There’s yet another hurdle voters will have to deal with — distance. Thousands of polling places have closed, according to a USA Today analysis, which cited costs and the prevalence of early voting as reasons for shuttering the sites.

But several companies want to make sure voters have no excuses and are offering free — or practically free — rides to the polls.


Uber is offering $10 off a ride to the polls, which will be applied to the most affordable Uber option in your city, which means voters are likely to be sharing their ride with someone else. To take advantage of the offer, tap menu, payment, and add the promo code VOTE2018. If you have the latest version of the app, a special poll button will also quickly help voters find their polling place.


Lyft is offering 50 percent off on Election Day. Enter your zip code here to access your code. For underserved communities, Lyft plans to work with its nonprofit partners, including Voto Latino, the National Federation of the Blind, and local Urban League affiliates to offer free rides.


ZipCar, the service that allows people to quickly rent nearby cars through an app, is offering a sweet incentive for evening voters. Drivers who rent a car between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday will receive $20 off a future ride, according to a blog post.


With the rise of so many scooter startups, it’s safe to say that more people than ever may be scootering to the polls this year. Lime, the billion-dollar scooter company that counts Uber and Alphabet as investors, is offering people 30 minutes of free scooter or bicycle time, in the hope they’ll use it to travel to their polling place. Enter the code LIME2VOTE18 on Tuesday to take advantage of the offer.


Motivate, the company behind those shared bicycles stationed in urban areas around the United States, is offering a free one-day pass on Election Day. Free service will be available using the code BIKETOVOTE on the following bicycle networks: Citi Bike (New York City and Jersey City), Bluebikes (Boston-metro), Capital Bikeshare (Washington D.C.-metro), Nice Ride Minnesota (Minneapolis), Ford GoBike (Bay Area), and CoGo (Columbus, Ohio). In Chicago, Divvy bicyclists can use the code VOTE18.

Public Transportation

Some larger cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston are offering free rides on city buses and rails for voters. Check with your local transit authority to see if they’re running a similar offer.