This spring, Lyft announced its Grocery Access Program, which provided low-income families in select cities a flat-rate ride to the grocery store. The company’s goal is to make healthy food more widely available, charging an average of $2.50 per ride to partnered stores. (Lyft absorbs additional costs up to $16, so drivers have an incentive to participate.) Today, the company announced that the program will expand to serve residents in Baltimore, Chicago and the New York City area.
Approximately 23.5 million people in the US live in food deserts — areas that lack affordable and healthy food — according to Lyft, and 2.5 million live in low-income, rural areas that are more than 10 miles from a supermarket. So far, the company has provided over 18,000 discounted rides across the US and Canada to those with inadequate access to full-service grocery stores and farmers markets. The service isn’t available for just any grocery store or supermarket; Lyft takes users to certain partner locations which focus on healthy eating. With the addition of these heavily populated cities, even more users will be able to shop for healthy food, even if they don’t typically have easy or cheap access to transportation.