Ride-sharing giants Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. are lobbying the incoming Biden administration for a role in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, offering to help get more Americans inoculated while seeking early access to doses for drivers.
Lyft executives met with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team in December, making the case for the incoming administration to allocate federal funds for vaccine-related transportation, said Megan Callahan, who leads Lyft’s health-care business, a large provider of nonemergency medical transportation. Lyft officials shared their analysis of public data with the Biden team on the millions of at-risk people who lack health-care transportation benefits or have limited public transportation due to coronavirus, she said.
Separately, Uber said Tuesday it is joining with vaccine maker Moderna Inc. to provide users with vaccine-safety information via the ride-sharing app. The companies said they aim to work with public-health agencies to help those eligible for doses to schedule rides and receive reminder notifications.
The pandemic has weighed on ride-sharing companies as the spreading virus shut down restaurants and curbed social gatherings and travel. Ferrying people to vaccine sites could boost their business in the near term and may help kick-start a rollout that has gone more slowly than federal officials planned.
Both major ride-sharing companies have talked to public-health officials across the country about helping with appointment transport, according to people familiar with those discussions, and have publicly offered millions of free rides to and from vaccine-administration sites. Ms. Callahan said state and municipal officials from heavily populated areas have been asking Lyft for free rides “because they do not have the funds.”