Key Takeaways

  • 227.1 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 195.3 million of those being fully vaccinated.

  • Getting access to the vaccine or the COVID booster is a struggle for many, and we all wish there was more we could do to help older adults.

  • NCOA and Lyft partnered to help older adults get their shot or booster.

As of December 31, 2021, the Lyft/NCOA booster ride code program successfully redeemed all funding and is no longer active.  NCOA will continue to keep the aging services network updated should funding open back up for this important effort

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 227.1 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of November 15, 2021. And of those, 195.3 million are fully vaccinated.

While the CDC stresses getting the vaccine is "safe, easy, and free" not all have equal access in actually getting to their appointments, particularly those who need it most. 

Back in May, NCOA and Lyft teamed up to help older adults get rides to and from vaccine appointments. Now, NCOA and Lyft are partnering again with additional funding in a ride redemption program that will cover up to $50 for each trip ($25 to the vaccine or booster shot appointment and $25 back home). 

Like the original, the new COVID-19/Booster Shot ride code will expire on December 31, 2021. This effort is part of Lyft’s LyftUp program, designed to support low-income, uninsured, and at-risk communities, including older adults and people of color.

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 vaccine/booster shot ride code

The new Lyft promo code we’re offering can be used for rides to and from each dose of the COVID vaccine, to a booster shot appointment, or any other need serving an older adult during the pandemic. Like the previous ride codes, the new code below covers up to $50 each trip ($25 to an appointment and $25 back home). There are no location restrictions, and the ride code is valid through December 31, 2021.

  • New NCOA/Lyft ride code: NCOABOOSTER

How to help an older adult create a Lyft account

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 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 vaccine 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 NCOA/Lyft ride code promo code: NCOABOOSTER.

Important note: Do not add the new 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 vaccination facility).
  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, including wearing a face mask that covers the mouth and nose. A mask is required even if you’ve been vaccinated. When entering the car, riders must leave the front seat empty and keep windows open when possible. 

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.

In addition, Anne McFarland, Director of Social Services at Aster Aging in Mesa, AZ, notes that her agency has been utilizing Lyft for the past several months for this purpose, and offers these helpful coordination strategies and tips to professionals who are scheduling rides for clients.

FAQs for professionals helping older adults 

Can I use the promo code for any ride an older adult may need?
Yes. Unlike the previous codes, this promo code is not restricted to just COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot appointments. However, the code will only be available while funding lasts or through December 31, 2021, whichever comes first. Coupon codes cannot 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. This new ride promo code expires on December 31, 2021. 
  • It’s no longer available. There are a limited number of ride promo codes available through NCOA. They are first-come, first-served while funding is available.
  • 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.