A day before Veteran’s Day, ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft have joined up with the U.S. government to pledge free trips to veterans in need of transportation.
The White House blog announced the service as part of the Joining Forces initiative, which offers support for service members in need.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 49,000 homeless veterans living in the United States. Most of these vets have no reliable transportation to deliver them to job opportunities.
“We have heard time and time again that transportation to and from work and job interviews is often a significant hurdle for homeless veterans trying to find work,” Col. Nicole Malachowski, executive director of Joining Forces, wrote in the blog post. “If a veteran is working a night shift or employed in a remote area of a city, public transportation is not always a viable option and there is limited funding available for alternative transportation.”
Uber is promising 10,000 free rides — $125,000 worth — for veterans over the next year, according to a company statement. Uber customers in over 150 cities across the country will be able to support the initiative with a choice to donate $5 toward the cause on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Those who move the app’s slider to “VETS DAY” will be picked up in an UberX vehicle customized for the holiday.
Lyft has not specified how many free rides they will make available, but the White House blog says tens of thousands of free rides would be offered by both companies.
“This initiative by Uber will have a major impact in helping our nation’s veterans get to where they deserve to be … employed.” said Baylee Crone, executive director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, said in the Uber statement.