On Monday, the Florida Veterans Foundation announced its partnership with Uber to create the “Veterans Ride Program” for Florida veterans who may have limited transportation options when trying to keep essential medical appointments during the coronavirus pandemic.
The program will be overseen by the Foundation who has partnered with the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) which includes all VA facilities around the state of Florida.
“This is a profound gesture on the part of Uber to recognize the importance of helping transportation disadvantaged veterans getting to and from their appointments especially during these difficult times,” said Lew Wilson, the president of the Florida Veterans Foundation.
Veterans interested in participating in the program can contact their local VA facility in Florida to receive an Uber code.
Each trip is limited to a $25 value and the supply of free rides is limited to the first 1,000 trips. The free ride codes will be issued to veterans on a case by case basis by each local VA facility after a brief evaluation.
“We’re proud to partner with the Florida Veterans Foundation to ensure veterans in need are able to move around safely throughout the state. This service will provide Florida veterans in need critical access to safe transportation amid the COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Stephanie Smith, a senior public policy manager for Uber.
Veterans who do not have an Uber app may dial 1-833-USE-UBER, where the rider will be paired with a live team member that confirms the trip request, provides an upfront price quote (which would be free up to $25 using the free code provided by the VA facility), and uses the same marketplace technology powering the Uber app to help find a ride. To use this feature, one will need an SMS or text-based mobile phone to receive important messages about the ETA, the driver’s license plate details, and the driver’s name. Riders continue to receive messages before and during the trip, and once it concludes, will receive a trip receipt. There is no extra charge for using this service, though carrier message and data rates may apply.
Visit www.HelpFLVets.org for a map of participating Florida VA facilities.