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United Way of the CSRA launches ride sharing program



AUGUSTA, Ga. – In the CSRA, many know 211 as the number to call for community assistance. Now, people can call that number to receive a free Lyft ride to essential places like doctor’s appointments and job interviews.

Through the help of a grant, United Way of the CSRA launched the Ride United program in partnership with Lyft. Ride United is designed to address a community need for short-term transportation.

Burnett says last year alone, the 211 helpline received over 20-thousand calls for community assistance, and many were requests for transportation.

“We know that many people lack the ability to access reliable transportation, or they don’t have the resources necessary to afford a ride sharing program to get them back and forth from various appointments,” CEO of United Way of the CSRA, Brittany Burnett said.

She says the goal is to bridge the transportation gap in the CSRA.

“We can’t be someone’s full time transportation to work, but sometimes it’s just that they can get the initial interview, then get the job, then they can secure some more permanent transportation,” Burnett said. “If we can be the ones to help fill in those holes and those gaps, then that’s the perfect reason to use this service.”

Burnett says she believes this program is rolling out at the perfect time, because they can help those who don’t have a car or reliable transportation get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

“Many people want to get vaccinated, but their one hurtle is the gap with transportation. So this would be the perfect time to pick up the phone, call 211. Once you have your appointment, let us know, we’ll go ahead and get your ride booked for you, and then again we can also book the return ride as well,” Burnett said.

The program is currently available in Richmond and Columbia County, but Burnett says they hope to extend the service to surrounding counties in the near future.