Lyft and Uber just made it easier to get to COVID-19 vaccination appointments


The Lyft app launched two new features on Thursday to help more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Lyft Family and Rides for Others functions offer an optimized way of ordering rides for people other than yourself. While Lyft envisions users ordering rides to bring friends or family to vaccination appointments, the two new features can be used for any type of trip – be it the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment.

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The first, Lyft Family, is currently only available in California, Washington, and Oregon, but will be rolled out nationwide in the next few months. As the account owner, you can add up to five family members (family is as you define it) and you will all be part of one common account. There will be a common payment method and the account administrator will see all travel information.

If you are one of the invited family members, you have the option to pay using your family account when ordering a Lyft ride, rather than your own card. Remember, however, that your travel receipts will be shared with the account holder.

The “Rides for Others” option is a less cumbersome way to greet a ride for another person. It is available to all Lyft users in the United States. When you order a ride, you can add each driver with their own Lyft account. You can order a ride for someone remotely, such as a grandparent who lives in another state.

You will pay for your ride so you will see how the ride progresses and if you get there safely.

This isn’t the only way more people can get to vaccination appointments. Lyft competitor Uber announced this week that it is partnering with Walgreens to offer free rides to the pharmacy for appointments. This will begin in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and El Paso for communities in “socially vulnerable areas”. In total, Uber offers vaccination clinics up to 10 million free and discounted trips.

After appointments are made with Walgreens, you will be connected to the Uber app via email to schedule a trip to the vaccination.

In December, Lyft also pledged to offer 60 million free and discounted trips to vaccination centers for low-income, uninsured and other vulnerable communities. In collaboration with JPMorgan Chase and Anthem, as well as community groups such as United Way, trips will be offered by local community organizations. Businesses and nonprofits can also donate a ride to provide better access to vaccines.

Another way to get to your vaccination appointment is on an electric scooter or bike. Lime offers four free rides (to and from each appointment for the two cans) in London and Tel Aviv. Free e-bike rides are offered in Milton Keynes in the UK as the city does not have scooters. Lime plans to expand the free rides to the US soon.

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