En español | Older Americans historically turn out to vote in greater numbers than any other age group. For some, though, getting to the polls on Nov. 6 could pose a transportation challenge.
“This year’s midterm elections will give 50-plus voters an opportunity to make their voices heard on the issues so important to their and their families’ futures — from health care to Medicare to Social Security and caregiving,” says AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond. “It is vital that older adults do what they’ve always done — show up at the polls in large numbers.”
Research shows that voters who know when, where and how they’ll vote are more likely to do so than those without a plan. But for many older adults, lack of access to transportation can pose an obstacle to voting. To get to your polling place, consider one of the following services:
Uber: The ride service has committed to mobilizing voters by offering Election Day promo codes worth $10 off a ride to your polling place. Be sure to read Uber’s instructions on how to take advantage of the promotion, which will apply only to the lowest-cost ride type available in your city.
Lyft: Lyft is also offering 50 percent off rides to the polls. In certain underserved areas, the company is working with nonprofit partners to provide free transportation. More details are available online.
Other private services
Arrive Rides and GoGoGrandparent: These concierge services allow you to request a ride with Uber or Lyft, but without having to use a smartphone. Registered users can call the Arrive Rides or GoGoGrandparent hotlines from a cellphone or landline to request a car. Rides can also be booked in advance.
Greatcall: Are you a Greatcall customer? The company has partnered with Lyft so users with Jitterbug phones can press zero to speak to an operator, who will request a ride on their behalf.
Paratransit: For voters with disabilities, paratransit services offered by local transit agencies can be a way to use public transportation to get to the polls. Contact your Area Agency on Aging or transit provider for details.
Local companies: Many local companies offer dial-a-ride or van services. To find one, use the Eldercare Locator and search “Transportation” options, then filter results by zip code.
Volunteer services: A network of volunteer-run ride services provides no-cost rides nationwide. Search for programs in your state using this map.
Note that you may have to reserve local services a day or two in advance, so contact these programs sooner rather than later.