With limited public transportation a well-known barrier to employment in some parts of the US city, the programme offers free rides for four weeks until a resident receives their first paycheck.
Mobility services and solutions provider Lyft is providing free rides to and from work for Baltimore residents in their first four weeks of employment.
The Let’s Ride to Work programme is a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED). The initiative is part of Baltimore City’s Covid-19 employment recovery strategy and is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Barrier to employment
Limited public transportation is a well-known barrier to employment in some parts of the US city, limiting job opportunities for residents. In keeping with its mission of delivering economic justice to Baltimore City residents, MOED is investing $267,000 to fund up to 40 free rides per eligible resident for the first four weeks of employment by which time the resident will have likely received their first paycheck.
City residents qualified for the programme must be referred by a partner organisation, be newly employed working at least 32 hours per week, have transportation needs and be negatively impacted by Covid-19. With the allocated funding, MOED expects to help more than 300 working city residents.
“You shouldn’t have to worry about what it’s going to cost you to get to work before you even get your first paycheck”
“We have numerous residents who are looking for meaningful employment, but are held back by limited transit options,” said mayor Brandon Scott. “This programme will provide stability to residents by helping them get to and from work during their initial pay period. I want to thank Lyft for helping make this possible.”
MOED’s director Jason Perkins-Cohen added: “Our residents shouldn’t have to turn down employment opportunities because they lack transportation – especially not while they are trying to recover from the pandemic. You shouldn’t have to worry about what it’s going to cost you to get to work before you even get your first paycheck.”
“Receiving these rides is mind blowing,” said Weaver. “I got a new job and I’m going to be able to save money with these free rides. This is not only a big deal for me, [but] it’s going to be a big deal for so many people especially those just coming home who don’t really have anything.”