Lyft News

Supporting Our Community

Mar 20, 2020
The LyftUp logo.

We know Lyft can be a critical lifeline for communities in need — this situation is no different. Right now, Lyft drivers are playing a vital role connecting people with essential services and goods — getting riders to grocery stores and pharmacies, doctors and nurses to work, and caretakers to family members in need. We’re immensely grateful to the driver community, and below are some of our initial efforts we’re taking to support them during this time. 

Additionally, many vulnerable populations still don’t have as much access to these essential services as they should. So we’re taking immediate action to fill the gaps, while continuously working to protect driver safety. These new initiatives also provide our drivers — many of whom are full time teachers, retirees, college students, caregivers — with more opportunities to earn income through the Lyft app. 


While ride demand is temporarily down, we’re actively expanding our services to include delivery and transportation partnerships with healthcare, government, and businesses. This work helps create new opportunities for drivers, provides rides to those in need, and helps distribute essential goods. 

  • Supporting delivery of medical supplies and other critical goods: During a period of shelter-in-place mandates and self-quarantine recommendations, governments and healthcare organizations can use Lyft’s on-demand network to bring life-sustaining medical supplies and test kits to the elderly, those with chronic diseases, and other vulnerable populations. Our healthcare team is working with government agencies and other businesses to identify individuals in need. To protect drivers and those receiving the deliveries, these drop-offs will be contactless. 

  • Supporting delivery of meals for kids and seniors in need: Students who receive free or subsidized lunch at school and home-bound seniors have been heavily affected by shelter-in-place advisories. To meet crucial food access gaps, Lyft is working in partnership with government agencies and local non-profits. Starting with a pilot in the Bay Area, drivers will be able to pick up meals from distribution centers and deliver them without contact to individuals in need. We are working to quickly scale this program throughout California and across the country. 

  • Facilitating necessary medical transportation, especially for low-income individuals: Lyft plays an essential role in facilitating non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for people every day. During this crisis, we will do everything we can to ensure people have a way to get to their dialysis appointments, chemotherapy, prenatal care and more — especially Medicaid members, who often can’t afford transportation. We’ve partnered with eight Medicaid agencies to incorporate Lyft into their NEMT programs, and we’re actively working with additional states across the country to ensure eligible patients can access critical healthcare services. 

  • Using our platform to alert riders and drivers about key safety and public health updates: We’re partnering with National League of Cities to gather important local updates, such as curfews and shelter in place orders, and provide access to them through our app.

  • Further actions we’re taking to support the driver community can be found here.


Starting today, Lyft is donating tens of thousands of ride credits to those with essential transportation needs during the coronavirus pandemic – especially for families and children, low-income seniors, doctors and nurses. To distribute these rides, we’re activating LyftUp – and partnering with public health entities, local governments, nonprofits and community organizations on the frontlines serving our communities at this time of crisis. 

  • United Way*: As an expansion of our existing partnership with United Way Worldwide, we are working with the 211 network to provide resources for specific use cases most in need.

  • National Council on Aging (NCOA): We’re donating ride credits to caregivers within NCOA’s network to deliver food and supplies to their homebound loved ones. 

  • Jobs Access & Grocery Access: We already serve vulnerable populations through our LyftUp Jobs Access Program, which facilitates rides to and from job interviews and trainings, and our LyftUp Grocery Access Program, which facilitates rides to and from grocery stores in food insecure areas. Now, we’re working with our existing partners to meet the additional needs of these communities — for example, enabling Year Up, a Jobs Access partner of ours, to get their community members to the grocery store.

  • Disaster Response: During times of natural disaster, we typically team up with local organizations and first responders to facilitate rides to help those who need to access urgent services, food, shelter, and other critical resources. Many of our trusted disaster response partners, like Team Rubicon and World Central Kitchen, are also activating for COVID-19 responses.  

All riders and drivers are asked to stay home if they are sick, and should work with a medical professional to discuss transportation options if they need to see a doctor. Per the CDC, anyone who suspects they may have or is diagnosed with COVID-19 should not use ridesharing.


Lyft has many available resources for partners of all kinds seeking to use transportation to provide help for their communities – including the following: 

  • For governments and healthcare entities who want to move around essential goods, please contact us here.

  • For states who need additional NEMT capacity as healthcare utilization surges, our healthcare team is here to work with our partners and state Medicaid Agencies to reinforce networks and ensure access to care during this critical time.

  • For nonprofits who need transportation support, please apply for a LyftUp COVID-19 Community Grant here

  • For foundations and philanthropists looking for a meaningful way to make an impact, we have many partners who need your support. There are immense transportation and delivery needs right now, so please reach out if you’d like to help.

We’ll continue to look for additional ways we can support the driver community, activate LyftUp, and help unlock access to essential services during a time of uncertainty.

This work is in addition to the many business policy shifts and other driver-focused initiatives that we’ve launched in the past two weeks, including but not limited to: making our Express Drive policies more flexible; pausing onboarding of new drivers to strengthen earnings for current drivers; and providing funds to drivers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or put under individual quarantine by a public health official, based on the rides they provided on the Lyft platform over the last four weeks. For more information on what we’ve done to date, please see our COVID-19 website.

*Note: 211s are receiving significantly more calls from the public than usual due to COVID-19 and wait times may be very long. Access to this resource will vary in each community based on 211 capacity and local public health guidance. United Way anticipates providing support through March 31, 2020, and will reassess the situation at that time to determine how to proceed forward.