Uber Canada donates 9,900 rides for vaccination appointments

UBER Canada is providing up to $148,500 in promotional codes to subsidize rides for vaccination appointments. These rides will help to reduce transportation barriers by assisting people with trips to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments within the Uber service area in Vancouver and surrounding municipalities. Uber Canada has partnered with BC211 to distribute the codes to support up to 9,900 rides, according to a press release.

The program prioritizes the needs of people who are facing transportation barriers, such as limited options or affordability, and those who need assistance in getting to and from their vaccination appointment due to a mobility, visual or cognitive impairment.

This commitment is part of Uber’s global initiative to donate 10 million fully or partially subsidized rides to vaccine sites. In Canada, Uber is running similar programs in Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto.

“Uber is pleased to offer residents across Metro Vancouver with access to transportation to and from their COVID-19 vaccine appointments,” said Michael van Hemmen, Head of City Operations in Canada for Uber, on Wednesday. “As more people book their vaccination appointments, Uber wants to do its part to help reduce barriers for people in getting their vaccine and help keep our communities healthy and safe.”

“COVID-19 has been a challenge like no other in Vancouver, across Canada and around the world. But with vaccines on their way, there is hope on the horizon that we can come together, conquer the pandemic, and build back stronger,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Unfortunately, not everyone can quickly visit a vaccination centre and that’s why Uber’s commitment to subsidized rides that help people get to and from their vaccination appointments is so welcome. We all need to do everything we can to remove barriers between people and safe, life-changing vaccines, and that’s what this generous commitment is all about.”

“The Surrey Board of Trade is impressed with Uber’s innovation in partnering with BC211 during this time of need to ensure that our communities in the Metro Vancouver region can get easy access to vaccination leading eventually to economic recovery and a re-opening of all businesses,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

Uber’s commitment to subsidized rides in British Columbia builds on previous initiatives in Canada and abroad to support vaccination plans and economic supports for impacted frontline workers:

  • partnership with the Government of Canada to help increase awareness and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines. This initiative is reaching millions of riders, drivers, delivery people, customers and restaurant partners with credible information and messaging from Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • A global program providing 10 million fully or partially subsidized rides to vaccine sites, including today’s commitment and supports for Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and the City of Toronto’s Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan.
  • An Eat Local Relief Effort, which included $7M to support local restaurants.
  • Last year, Uber Canada rolled out its Move What Matters Initiative, pledging more than $6M in free rides, meals and food deliveries in Canada.

Uber has implemented several measures over the last year to help keep drivers and riders safe, including:

  • Extending our “No Mask. No Ride” policy indefinitely, based on guidance of health experts and public health organizations, meaning that drivers and riders must wear a mask or face covering. When drivers and riders take a selfie, the mask detection system assesses the presence of a face cover or a mask.
  • Prohibiting riders from being in the front passenger seat, limiting the number of riders per vehicle and suspending Uber Pool.
  • Distributing PPE free of charge to help keep delivery people and drivers safe as they serve their communities.
  • Creating a financial assistance program to support drivers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or ordered to self-quarantine or self-isolate by a doctor or public health authority.

How does it work?

  • Residents within the service area who have no other transportation option to get to their vaccination appointment call or text 2-1-1.
  • A 211 Navigator will assess the caller’s needs and provide a unique promo code to be used through the Uber app.
  • Each promo code will give two (2) rides, up to $15 off each (maximum $30 total discount per person). The payment profile on an individual’s Uber account will be charged for the balance remaining.
  • The promo code can only be used on rides that begin within the Uber service area in Vancouver and surrounding municipalities (map here).
  • Each promo code can only be applied once per user. If a ride is less than $15, the remaining balance does not “roll over” to a future ride.
  • Promo codes are redeemable until September 30, 2021.

Information about how to apply promo codes and troubleshooting tips can be found here: http://t.uber.com/promo-help.

All riders are required to adhere to Uber’s safety policies, including wearing a mask or face covering at all times while in a vehicle.

Uber Service Area (see map)