Owensboro will be offering free public transportation for residents on Election Day, Nov. 6. A collaboration of multiple agencies worked to give citizens access to voting polls as part of the Go Vote campaign, which aims to promote voter turnout.
Agencies involved in the decision included The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Young Professionals, the City of Owensboro, and the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center. Costs for public transit will be waived from 6 a.m. to 6:50 p.m., according to Pamela Canary, City of Owensboro’s Transit Manager.
“I calculated the costs, and the costs are very minimal,” Canary said of absolving the fees.
The goal for the City is to encourage voter turnout, especially for those who don’t have reliable transportation. In the 2016 election, it was reported that an estimated 15 million people across the nation didn’t vote because of transportation issues.
“I think anything we do at the City to encourage this — even the small things — if it encourages someone to vote, that’s a great thing,” Canary said. “Staff members [at City of Owensboro] said they couldn’t recall the last time they offered free transit on Election Day.”
Andrew Howard spoke on behalf of Chamber of Young Professionals (CYP) at the city commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, asking city commissioners to consider offering free public transportation for voters across the city.
“We want to spread the word on how important this election is,” Howard said, mentioning the other agencies who were interested in promoting the Go Vote campaign alongside the CYP.
City Manager Nate Pagan said he saw nothing wrong with providing free public transit services on Election Day, and that he thought it was a good idea.
Lyft is also supporting voter turnout as declared in an August blog post by the company. Lyft is offering 50 percent off promotion codes via organizations such as Vote.org, Nonprofit Vote, TurboVote and more to help distribute codes to those who need them. To receive 50 percent off Owensboro Lyft, use promo code VOTEKY1.
For underserved communities, Lyft is providing rides free of cost through nonpartisan, nonprofit partners, including Voto Latino, local Urban League affiliates and the National Federation of the Blind.