Here Are LA's Free And Discount Rides To Get You To The Polls On Election Day
There's been a lot of talk about how voters will turn out for what's being billed as "the most important election" of our lives (at least until the next one). But for many eligible voters in Los Angeles County — and across the nation — getting to the polls can be a challenge.
"There is some research to suggest that transportation is in some ways a significant barrier for voters," said Mindy Romero, director of USC's California Civic Engagement Project.
"Say you're working a long day and you normally take public transportation, it's not a matter of simply driving by after work and stopping by to vote. You have to plan it out, you have to take a different route... something like that can add a hour or longer for people to exercise their right to vote."
If you're registered and want to vote but feels hindered by transportation, here are a few options to help get you there on the cheap (or free). And while you're in transit, study up with our voter guide.
Rides on Los Angeles Metro's trains and buses will be free all day Tuesday in an effort to boost voter turnout. The county sure could use the help. In the 2014 midterms, turnout was a measly 17 percent. Yikes.
Rides on Metro bike, bus and rail are FREE on #ElectionDay. #PedaltothePolls and use promo code 1162018 at any Metro Bike Share station to redeem your free bike ride! (First 30 minutes is free on Metro Bike Share. $1.75 for each half hour after.) @metrolosangeles pic.twitter.com/SFJg9Jtx19— Metro Bike (@BikeMetro) November 3, 2018
Romero said the people who use public transit tend to have lower incomes, as do the people who vote the least. If the financial impact of a trip to the polls is taken out of the equation, that could lead to better turnout — and better representation.
"By making it easier for the population that rides public transportation you'll hopefully, in the long run, be aiding the electorate to be a little more representative," she said.
Check out Metro's website to see the nearest bus or train stop to you and plan out your route.
MORE PUBLIC TRANSIT OPTIONS
Several other local and regional transit agencies are offering free rides on Tuesday. Those include:
- Long Beach Transit
- Pasadena Transit
- Baldwin Park Transit
- Access Services
- Santa Clarita Transit
Lyft and Uber announced last month that they are offering discounted and, in some areas, free rides to the polls on Nov. 6.
Over 15 million people cited transportation as their primary barrier to voting in the 2016 election — that's why we're introducing The Ride to Vote. Lyft will provide free and discounted rides to the Polls. #TheRidetoVote https://t.co/E8GVhNNkE8 pic.twitter.com/1kmqWlSpsB— Lyft (@lyft) August 23, 2018
Lyft said riders in "underserved communities" are eligible for free rides through partnerships with several nonpartisan, nonprofit groups. Uber had a similar initiative and is also offering $10 off a single ride to the polls on Election Day.
SCOOT TO THE POLLS
It is 2018, so of course e-scooters are now part of the democratic process. Lime announced users will receive free 30-minute rides on its scooters and bikes on Nov. 6 when users enter the promo code "LIME2VOTE18." Just be sure you're caught up on the rules of riding.
Some Nextdoor users have also reported that their neighbors are offering rides to their polling places tomorrow. So if you're on the hyperlocal site and need to get to the polls in a pinch, you can check if anyone in your community can help you out. And if you're feeling patriotic — or just have some free time — you could offer to shuttle neighbors yourself.
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