Supporting the Lyft Community in Canada

The LyftUp logo.

Updated Sep. 8, 2020

While the COVID-19 crisis has presented unprecedented challenges, it’s also shone light on countless examples of human connection (despite distancing), kindness, and resilience. We’ve seen words of encouragement written on sidewalks, daily applause for front-line workers, and drivers helping connect communities with essential services and goods. 

We care deeply for our driver and rider communities and are working to implement programs and initiatives to support them during the COVID-19 crisis. 

How Lyft Is Supporting Drivers

Exploring New Opportunities for Drivers:

  • We’re exploring new ways for drivers to earn and to help provide access to rides for those in need. Drivers who are interested in these opportunities can sign up for the LyftUp Driver Community Task Force.

Distributing Essential Items and Information:

  • We are distributing cleaning products to drivers in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. We will continue to alert drivers about how to access these supplies in each city.  Find out more here.

  • We are sending emails with the latest guidance from health officials and updates about legislation changes and government orders that may impact drivers.

Providing Ride Access for Those in Need

When the crisis began, we immediately activated LyftUp – our comprehensive initiative to expand transportation access to those who need it most – to help our communities access essential needs. We’re working with LyftUp partners across Canada to provide ride credit for vulnerable communities and critical workers, while creating more opportunities for drivers to earn with Lyft. 

Working With Our Partners:

  • United Way: As an extension of our LyftUp partnership with United Way Worldwide, we are providing donated rides to local United Ways in Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto to support access to essential services.

  • Covenant House Vancouver: We are extending our existing partnership to provide rides for the organization’s staff members who are still working on-site to support youth experiencing homelessness. As a LyftUp partner, Covenant House Vancouver also receives donations from riders who round up their ride payment

  • Grocery Access: Through our LyftUp Grocery Access program, we work with Black Creek Community Farm in Toronto and Ottawa Community Housing Foundation to help their residents and staff get rides to and from grocery stores in areas where fresh, healthy food isn't easy to reach. We've extended our partnerships to provide additional rides for families in need.

  • SickKids Foundation: We are providing ride credit to our LyftUp partner, SickKids Foundation in Toronto, whose healthcare workers are on the front lines fighting for the health and well-being of children. Riders in Toronto can also round up their ride payments to benefit SickKids Foundation.

Providing Access to Rides For:

  • Volunteers: Across the country, Canadians are generously supporting their local communities however they can — and we want to ensure they can get where they’re needed most. Lyft is providing ride credit to the Ottawa Mission, Ottawa Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank, Surrey Food Bank, and Greater Vancouver Food Bank volunteers. In addition to local food banks, Lyft is also providing ride credit to help VentureKids Canada deliver electronic devices to Toronto students; help PaintBox Catering, a hospitality hub and social enterprise, provide access to subsidized groceries in the Regent Park Toronto community; and help Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society provide essential services to the urban aboriginal community.

  • Patients who need non-emergency rides to get to treatment: Due to COVID-19, transportation for cancer patients has become more challenging. We are working with the Canadian Cancer Society to offer ride credit to patients who need to get to treatment in Vancouver.

  • Families and seniors: In Metro Vancouver, Lyft is working with United Way on its Better at Home and Local Love Food Hubs programs to provide seniors and families access to rides. Lyft is also donating ride credit to KidSafe BC to enable families to access KidSafe’s food pantries and bring enough groceries home to their families. In Ontario, Lyft is working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto and Children’s Aid Society of Toronto to provide families and program participants access to rides.

  • Essential workers: To help staff get to their critical jobs and to essential services, we’re offering ride credit through LyftUp to organizations, including the following: 

    • Fresh Roots, who is producing food from local community farm sites and using Lyft to get meals to families in need;

    • Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA), which is providing lab testing for COVID-19 for 16 hospitals in the Ottawa region. 

    • Hospital Employees’ Union, whose members work in all areas of the healthcare system to provide care services. 

    • Ontario Long Term Care Association, which represents nearly 70% of Ontario's 630 long-term care homes, located in communities across the province.

Coming Together to Help

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

  • 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. Please reach out if you’d like to help.

It’s also important to note that per the recommendation of local health officials, we’re asking all riders and drivers 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. Anyone who suspects they may have or is diagnosed with COVID-19 should not use rideshare. 

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


Social Impact