First it was Uber, offering to auto-find your polling place on Election Day. Now ride-sharing service Zipcar is offering free trips to polling places, if you're a last-minute voter. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., local time, Zipcar members can book free rides to polling places in about 7,000 of the company's cars, covering all their locations, under the company's DriveTheVote program. Zipcar says it has sped up the new member approval process, which can take days, to just a few minutes via its mobile app. So this goodwill effort could also net the company extra $35/year members. In the announcement, Zipcar touts its proximity to universities—home to a desirable marketing demographic.
Polls typically close at 8 p.m., and people who line up by that time are allowed to get in. These rides are for folks who are already pushing it and need to get there fast, says the company. Zipcar isn't asking for any proof that the cars will be used for voting, so there's nothing to stop someone from booking a free ride to buy groceries—except a very guilty conscience. SC