While Lime and Bird have removed most of their fleets from Austin's streets in response to COVID-19, Lyft is finding another use for its dockless scooters.
On April 3, the ride-hailing company launched a new service for Austin healthcare workers, first responders, and transit workers. During the coronavirus pandemic, it’s providing free dockless scooters trips to these coronavirus heroes.
“Lyft scooters can play a unique role in providing essential transportation to critical workers on the frontlines against COVID-19,” Caroline Samponaro, head of micromobility and transit policy at Lyft, says in an April 3 release. “In a time of crisis, we know Lyft can be an essential lifeline, and we are proud to support first responders, transit, and health care providers with free rides through LyftUp as they serve the public throughout Austin.”
Lyft is offering the free scooter rides, up to 30 months long, through April 30 for these essential employees across its scooter network in Austin. To help healthcare workers, Lyft is putting a priority on placing scooters near hospitals.
Lyft asks employers to email HeroScooters@Lyft.com to enroll employees in the LyftUp Scooter Critical Workforce Program. The company is also offering to help educate employees about the program.
To help curb the spread of COVID-19, Lyft says it is disinfecting high-contact surfaces on scooters (including handlebars, brake lever, bell, and throttle) when they are recharged.
The no-cost scooter trips are an expansion of LyftUp, the company's initiative to provide transportation during the coronavirus pandemic to those who need it most, including low-income seniors, young families, and people with disabilities.
Aside from scooters, Lyft offers ride-hailing services and bike-sharing systems.