Lyft gives some essential workers free access to its electric scooters

Lyft has announced a new program that gives some essential workers limited free access to its network of electric scooters. Called the LyftUp Scooter Critical Workforce Program, this initiative targets healthcare workers, first responders, and people who work in transit. The company is offering these individuals free scooter rides in a number of major metro regions in the US.

Though many places have issued stay-home orders, essential workers are still allowed to leave their homes in order to go to work — this includes everyone from healthcare workers to delivery drivers, the people who are keeping utility services running, and more. Buses and trains continue to run, but some people are uncomfortable taking these options because it is difficult to avoid close contact with other people.

Lyft points out that its bicycles and scooters are an alternative option that makes it possible to avoid close contact with other people. Starting today in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, the Metro DC area, Denver, and Austin, Lyft is giving some critical workers free 30-minute rides on its scooters. This joins the free bike-share program Lyft recently launched for critical workers in select major cities.

Due to the tricky nature of this program, Lyft will grant free access to eligible people through their employers. If you're an employer of these critical workers in one of the aforementioned cities, you'll need to email Lyft at its 'heroscooters' address or its 'essentialrides' address to enroll your employees in the program. The 30-minute free rides are unlimited and available until April 30.

Lyft says that it has boosted its cleaning protocols for its bicycles and scooters to help protect the people who use them. Of course, you'd still need to be careful about not touching your face while riding and you'd need to wash your hands with soap and water after finishing the ride. Health experts warn that touching a contaminated surface, then touching your face, is the primary way most people contract this virus.