Key Takeaways

  • The midterm elections started in March, with things really going into high gear this month when voters in a number of states will start casting primary ballots.

  • Every older adult who wants to exercise their fundamental right to vote should be able to do so—regardless of income, ZIP code, or political affiliation—and transportation access shouldn't be a barrier.

  • NCOA and Lyft have partnered to offer older adults discounted rides to the polls during the upcoming election year.

While the midterm 2022 election season started in March for Texas, voters in Indiana and Ohio will make their way to the polls starting tomorrow. Ahead of November's general election, these two states will be among the first to pick their presidential nominees. All too often, older adults lack affordable, reliable transportation to get to polling stations in order to fully participate in our democracy. That's why NCOA has partnered with Lyft to reduce transportation barriers for voting and ensure all older adults can make their voices heard where it matters.

“Transportation can be a challenge for older adults, especially among low-income people of color,” said NCOA President and CEO Ramsey Alwin.

“Lyft's partnership is going to make it easier to ensure older adults have access to the transportation they need to make their voices heard at the polls,” Alwin said.

How to help older Americans cast their ballots and make their voices heard

Through the help of its LyftUp Voting AccessProgram, Lyft will offer discounted rides to older adults headed to the polls during the upcoming election year, starting during primary season and through the general election. 

NCOA is distributing the ride codes through our aging services network, designed to support low-income, uninsured, and at-risk communities. To ensure these limited resources are used for those most in need, please do NOT share these promo codes with businesses or government agencies.

How to use the NCOA-Lyft voting access ride codes

The Lyft promo codes we’re offering can be used for rides to and from voting polls. The NCOA ride code below covers a value of up to $50 for travel to polling stations. There are no location restrictions, and the voting access ride codes are valid through Election Day (Tuesday, November 8, 2022).

  • Voting access ride code (to and from their polling station): NCOAVOTES 

How to help an older adult create a Lyft account to access voting access ride codes

Lyft offers riders details about their driver in the app, provides the ability to share route and location information with loved ones, and has built its services with your health and safety in mind.

Creating a Lyft account:

  1. If an older adult doesn’t have a Lyft account, the first step is to download the Lyft app onto their phone from the App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Tap ‘Get Started’ on the main screen and follow the prompts to create an account.
  3. After entering their cell phone number, they’ll receive a verification code through an SMS text message.
  4. They will enter this verification code to log into their new account on the Lyft app.
  5. They will need to enter their name, email address, payment information, and take a photo so the driver knows who they’re picking up.
  6. Once they’ve completed these steps, they’re ready to request a ride.

If you’re having trouble creating an account, visit Lyft’s Help Center.  

How to apply the Lyft voting access ride promo codes:

  1. Open the Lyft app.
  2. Tap the ‘Menu’ icon in the upper left-hand corner.
  3. Tap ‘Rewards’.
  4. Enter the promo code: NCOAVOTES 

Important note: Do not add the voting access ride promo code until immediately before you order a ride in the app.

Once you’re done applying the codes, here’s how to request a ride:

  1. Tap ‘Search Destination’ and enter the drop-off location (location of polling station).
  2. Select the preferred ride type.
  3. Tap ‘Select Lyft’.
  4. Confirm or change the pickup location before tapping Confirm and Request.
  5. Once you've enabled GPS locating in the phone settings, the Lyft app will automatically set the current address as the pickup location.

If you’re having trouble requesting a ride, Lyft offers more guidance in its Help Center.  

How Lyft prioritizes safety for older adults

Lyft is dedicated to helping create a comfortable shared space. Before riding with Lyft, riders must agree that they’re symptom-free and will follow CDC guidance related to COVID-19.

Quick tips for older adult riders

Request from a safe place
An indoor location, for example, reduces time spent waiting on the street. Choose a pickup spot where drivers can easily pull over. (This means no bus stops or other no-stopping zones.) Take enough time to make sure you’re getting into the right car.

Match the ride
Always check that the arriving car matches the license plate, make, and model displayed in the Lyft app. Also, take a look at the driver’s photo and name.

Share your trip info
Share your location and route with family or loved ones so they can follow along in real-time.

Keep your contact information private
The rider’s address or contact info won’t be shown in their driver’s ride history.

FAQs for professionals helping older adults 

Can I use the promo code for any ride an older adult may need?
No. These promo codes are intended to offer access to free or discounted rides to and from an individual’s polling station. They can't and shouldn't be used for other purposes. Ride codes can't be used toward tips for drivers.

What if my older adult client doesn't have a smartphone? Can I or someone else call a ride for them?
Yes. Lyft’s feature, Rides for Others, allows you to order a trip for another person. As you enter the location details, click on the “Me” picture on the top to change the person you are calling the ride for. Once you pay, you will get a notification when a driver picks up the designated rider, and you'll be able to follow their trip progress.

Please note: The ride recipient must have their own Lyft account and will see the ride details in their Lyft app.

How do I pay for the Lyft ride?
When the ride is over, Lyft will ask you to rate the driver and confirm payment by selecting the promo code. You can then add a tip and tap Submit. You will receive a receipt with all payment info.

What if the promo code doesn't work?

  • It’s expired. Voting access promo codes expire on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 (Election Day). 
  • It’s no longer available. There are a limited number of voting access promo codes available through NCOA. They are first-come, first-served.
  • It's in a different currency. Promos for ride credit can only be used if the promo currency matches the currency where a ride is taken.
  • It's a business ride. Ride credits won't apply by default to Business Profile rides. On the rate and pay screen, you can manually apply a specific promo code by tapping on your payment method (just above where it says either Business or Personal). From there, tap on Change Applied Promos to enter the promo code you want to use.
  • You’ve already used up all your credit. If you’ve already used all credit on previous rides, you’ll be able to see that in your Ride History. 
  • The ride you’re taking costs more than the ride credit. If your ride costs more than your promo balance, your form of payment will be charged the remainder.