Lyft offers free rides so people can go to job interviews

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Lyft announced a new initiative that will give riders free or discounted rides to work and during the first three weeks of employment.

The Jobs Access Program looks to close the transportation gap in low-income communities, Lyft said in a statement. The rideshare company is partnering with national and local organizations — including the National Down Syndrome Society and United Way — to offer the program in over 35 markets in the US and Canada.

“For the unemployed, reliable transportation to a job interview or to the first few weeks of work can mean the difference between successful, long-term employment and lost opportunities,” Lyft’s statement read.

The rideshare company cited a 2018 Oxford University Press study that said “children’s opportunities for economic mobility are shaped by the neighborhoods in which they grow up.” The company also cited their own study that shows “44% of Lyft rides start or end in low-income areas.”

In September, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, the lowest rate since December 1969, as employers added 136,000 jobs to the US economy, according to the US Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But overall, the pace of hiring has slowed considerably since 2018, when the economy added an average of 223,000 jobs per month.

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