We've seen a range of partnerships between ride-share apps and grocery stores in recent times. Walmart and Uber teamed up last year, for example, while Asia's Grab has expanded to include grocery delivery. And, of course, there are multiple companies experimenting with grocery delivery via autonomous vehicles. But none of these initiatives address a major underlying issue in getting food to the people who want it: cost. Today, though, Lyft is launching a national Grocery Access Program that aims to make healthy food more cheaply and easily accessible to millions of Americans.
Some 2.3 million people live in low-income, rural areas more than 10 miles from a supermarket -- without access to affordable and reliable transportation they face a significant barrier to healthy eating. Lyft's new program allows those living in these food deserts to obtain a flat fare ride to a partnered grocery store. The average fare is $2.50, and the company will absorb any additional cost up to $16. The program has already seen a successful trial in DC, followed by expansion to Atlanta, and is now rolling out to a dozen further cities (with more to come): Atlantic City, Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Richmond and Toronto.
Update 4/25/19 10:49AM ET: This post has been updated to clarify the $2.50 flat rate is the average cost.