Political contractors in suburban Philadelphia and Washington say they will use an Uber "first ride free" program to help campaigns, issue groups and other get-out-the-vote efforts bring voters to the polls Nov. 8 election, through a site they're calling called VoterDrive.US (Revised and updated)
Free -- up to $10, which on normal-traffic days would get you an UberX ride to your local urban or suburban voting precinct, if Uber gives rides on its current Philly-area price schedule. If distance, demand or traffic drives the cost above $10, the voter (or his get-out-the-vote campaign patron) pays the extra.
"Voter turnout is low in the U.S.," with two of every five eligible voters typically sitting out even Presidential elections, Dittus notes. "We are combining the on-demand economy, with our voter-outreach program, to find the people who need rides, and work with Uber to give them free rides to the polls."
Uber has previously offered Election Day discounts:
-- In Nov. 2012 it offered $20 free rides to first-time U.S. users on Election Day
-- Last month in South Africa Uber offered 30 rand (about $2) off rides to the polls in major cities
-- In April in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, Uber offered new users free poll rides worth up to 50 rupees (75 cents)
-- In Canadian cities last fall, Uber made a similar offer worth up to $15 (Canadian) each way to the polls for new users;
-- Last November in Texas cities Uber offered voters "a free ride (up to $15 each way).