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Lyft, United Way offer free rides for non-urgent appointments

It's not just limited to health care.

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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lyft committed to providing more free trips for non-medical purposes in May, and now it's clearer as to what that entails. The ridesharing firm has partnered with United Way to offer free rides for not only medical appointments, but job interviews and veterans services. The pact will integrate Lyft into United Way's 2-1-1 referral helpline in 12 US cities including Austin, Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

There's certainly a pragmatic incentive behind the United Way deal: this could ingratiate Lyft with cities that might otherwise be wary of ridesharing services. Still, it's difficult to complain. The free rides could be crucial to low-income households where other transportation options are unaffordable, time-consuming or both.

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