In the coming weeks, Lyft will introduce a new program called Round Up & Donate, which will allow riders to make a charitable contribution when they take a ride with the service.
Riders will be able to opt into the program, which will automatically round up their fare to the nearest whole dollar. The company announced the program in an ad in The New York Times, stating that “parking your backsides in the back seats across the nation is a way to rebuild our communities around people, not cars.” A blog post aimed at drivers notes that if a fare is $12.75, it will be rounded up to $13, with the extra $0.25 going to a charity.
The company’s ad explains that users will be able to make a difference with climate change and the “pursuit of equality,” but it doesn’t specify what charities riders will be able to donate to. A spokesperson for Lyft says that users will be able to pick a charity from a provided list in the app, and that it will explore ways for passengers to vote on others for inclusion. The company also said that riders will be able to change the charity that they’re donating to, and will let them opt out of the program at any time.
A number of stores already allow shoppers to do something similar, and Texas ride-share nonprofit Ride Austin allows riders to do the same to “provide local charities contributions on an ongoing basis.” Lyft itself isn’t a stranger to charitable giving: earlier this year, the company announced that it would donate 1 million dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union.