Uber announced this week that it is committing 10 million free or discounted rides to help “vulnerable communities” around the world get access to Covid-19 vaccinations. The company says it will work with organizations that have “deep ties to communities of color that have been disproportionally hurt by the pandemic” to provide rides to and from initial vaccination appointments, and for the follow-up shots that will be needed a few weeks later.
Uber says the goal is to “make sure that transportation is not a barrier to getting the vaccine.”
With overall mobility revenue down 53% year-over-year, the ride-hailing and delivery giant, which remains unprofitable, also has a dire need to ramp up ridership, particularly once online restaurant orders start to come down back to earth.
“It’s a savvy way for Uber to re-acquaint itself with its customers…who haven’t really had much reason to call an Uber in the last several months,” says Tom White, an analyst at DA Davidson. With discounted rides for vaccine appointments, the company is “gently remind[ing] former customers of the platforms and do a good thing and probably score some PR points as well.”
Uber indeed has been crafting a ki