Lyft Launches Grocery Access Program In Pittsburgh

Flat-rate fares available to residents in food deserts

Lynne Hayes-Freeland
August 23, 2019 - 8:35 am

kirin_photo / iStock / Getty Images Plus


PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — A more affordable way to get to the grocery store has come to Pittsburgh for residents without easy access to a vehicle or supermarket.

Lyft started the first Grocery Access Program (GAP) in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of the year. The ride-sharing company, along with 412 Food Rescue and local housing authorities announced Thursday a six-month pilot program launch in Pittsburgh.

“47 percent of the city is in a food desert,” Lyft's Pittsburgh general manager Josh Huber tells Lynne Hayes-Freeland on KDKA Radio. “So it’s clearly an issue that needs to be addressed here.”

A food desert is defined as an area with limited access to affordable, nutritious food.

It works like this: qualified residents of the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County housing authorities will be able to get $2.50 one-way fares to the grocery store.

“The same way you would request a car any other way,” Huber explained. “Except these residents will have a code applied to their account so that they are able to access those flat fares.”

That’s a $5 round-trip — the same as bus fare — with a shorter commute and more room for groceries.

“Maybe the bus is a 45[-minute] or hour-long ride,” Huber said. “That’s really challenging for folks.”

The program is part of Lyft’s City Works initiative. See details here.

Joe DeStio and Jennifer Bloodworth contributed to this story.

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