Lyft is offering free or discounted bike-share trips to workers fighting the coronavirus. The ride-hail company is inviting certain workers in New York City, Boston, and Chicago to sign up for free, one-month memberships or discounted trips. Lyft says it’s also stepping up its cleaning procedures to ensure its bikes are appropriately sanitized between trips.
Cheaper bike-share could become especially useful as public transportation ridership continues to plummet in most cities and ride-sharing is not seen as a safe alternative. With a growing number of people seeking to avoid mass transit during the pandemic, there has been a surge in cycling in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Lyft, which is the largest bike-share operator in North America, is now looking to step up and help those who have been on the front lines of the outbreak.
In New York, Citi Bike is offering free 30-day memberships for people who work in health care, public transportation, or as first responders, including city employees. Health care employers like hospitals and clinics are being instructed to email Lyft to obtain enrollment information that they can distribute to staff. The deal includes unlimited 45-minute trips on traditional bikes and e-bikes for up to 30 days, but the free membership will not automatically renew into an annual membership.
In Chicago, health care workers can take free rides on the city’s Divvy bike-share system through April 30th. For other riders, Lyft will be discounting the price of single rides from $3 to $1, and the price of a new annual membership will be cut in half from $99 to $49.50.
And in Boston, hospital workers can get a free 30-day membership to the public bike-share system, Bluebikes. Eligible employees will receive a $20 discount code to get a regular 30-day pass for free.