CHICAGO - Uber will provide 20,000 free rides to the United Center vaccination site to help remove transportation barriers that may prevent some Chicagoans from accessing the vaccine, the company said Friday.
Though these free rides are available citywide, Uber says they will be targeted to residents on the South and West sides.
"This initiative is the direct result of our continued, citywide efforts to ensure that equity remains at the core of our vaccination strategy," said Mayor Lightfoot. "By working with partners like FEMA, Zocdoc, United Center and Uber, we will be able to take significant steps forward in our mission to vaccinate all of our residents"
The free rides are being provided in partnership with the City of Chicago in order to bolster vaccination efforts.
Chicagoans who sign up for vaccine appointments through ZocDoc, which is the management system used, will be asked if they need a ride. If yes is selected, they will receive a promo code for a free ride either automatically or with the appointment confirmation later that evening.
"We are proud to support Mayor Lightfoot and her administration’s efforts to significantly boost access to COVID-19 vaccines in Chicago by providing a central location for vaccinations in addition to transportation to and from appointments," said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber. "Throughout this pandemic we’ve maintained operations to provide essential services to Chicagoans and have taken multiple steps to ensure that safety is at the forefront of everything we’ve done."
The United Center and Uber partnered to launch the Uber Zone in March 2020, which is a temperature-controlled facility for riders leaving the United Center. The Uber Zone will now be repurposed to serve as a walk-in vaccination site.
A neighboring United Center parking lot will serve as a drive-thru vaccination site to further increase capacity.
Uber’s ride credits will only work to and from the vaccination center.