Diversity & Inclusion
Apps / Food and drink / Nonprofits / Philadelphia

Folks near PHA housing in North Philly can take $2.50 Lyft rides to the grocery store

Residents will be able to get eight rides, or four roundtrips, for the flat rate.

Lyft drivin'. (Photo courtesy of Lyft)

Technical.ly is one of 22 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice.

Rideshare company Lyft announced that starting next month, North Philadelphia residents living in areas around Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) sites will be able to grab a ride to nearby grocery stores for a fixed rate of $2.50.

The Grocery Access Program comes as a part of Lyft City Works, a commitment by the company to deploy about $50 million every year to programs “that make cities more livable,” the company said.

The program also comes in collaboration with the PHA and Uplift Solutions, a nonprofit that aims to reduce the burdens of living in food insecure or food desert areas.

Starting Sept. 1, families living near the 11 PHA sites in North Philly will be able to access eight trips to or from the ShopRite at 2800 Fox St. or Fresh Grocer at 1501 N. Broad St. for $2.50. The eight trips would essentially provide round-trip rides to a grocery store every week.

“It’s our civic responsibility to address key problems our communities are facing through better access to transportation, with the goal of improving life in all areas of Philadelphia, and we’re thrilled to help bring this initiative to Philly,” Andrew Woolf, Lyft regional director of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, said in a statement.

The Grocery Access Program was first piloted in D.C. last year, and eventually expanded.

Using Lyft does require a smart phone and having a bank account to link through the app. PHA spokesperson Nichole Tillman told The Philadelphia Inquirer that there will be coordinators at PHA complexes to help people use the app, but there are some who may still face obstacles.

“We want to assist as many residents as we can,” she said.

Initially, Tillman said, about 1,700 residents will be eligible.

The program is slated to run for six months, through Feb. 29, 2020, but plans for extending the program are underway with the goal of reaching more residents.

Companies: Lyft / Philadelphia Housing Authority
Series: Philadelphia Journalism Collaborative

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