AUSTIN, Texas — More than nine million voters cast their ballot early in Texas, but with 43% of registered voters who have yet to make it to the polls, not having a ride should not be a reason.
Multiple studies found a common reason people do not vote is due to limited access to transportation. In 2016, 14% of people said transportation was a major reason impacting their ability to vote, according to a Harvard study.
Organizations across Central Texas are helping eliminate this barrier by offering free or reduced rides on Election Day, Nov. 3.
CapMetro services are free all day on Tuesday, Nov. 3, whether riders plan to vote or not.
This includes their bus, rail and MetroBike services.
"A good option for people that are looking to extend their trip a little further than they are willing to walk, bikes and transit are a good combination," said Dottie Watkins, Capital Metro's chief customer and operating officer.
The agency also has a trip planner available to help voters find the best route to a polling location near them.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the agency put multiple safety measures in place, including rolling out more buses to help with social distancing and sanitizing those buses.
"We want to make sure that those folks who need the help the most have the opportunity to participate in the election and to really make sure we are eliminating just one more barrier," Watkins said.
For more information on routes and promo codes needed, visit their website here.
Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS)
The Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) is also offering free rides in non-urbanized areas in Central Texas.
The free service is available in these counties:
CARTS riders must schedule their country bus ride 24 hours in advance by calling 1-512-478-RIDE (7433) and indicate travel is to a polling location.
Uber is offering discounted rides to the polls on Election Day.
The ride service is offering 50% off roundtrip rides to and from the polls. Riders can spend up to $7 each trip or up to $14 for the two trips.
This also applies to its bikes and scooters.
To find a nearby voting location, riders can use the in-app poll finding feature.
Riders can receive 50% off one ride up to $10 to any polling location or mail-in dropbox. This also includes their bikes and scooters
Use the code 2020VOTE in the promo code line.
The American Association of People with Disabilities has a full list of more riding options across Texas here.
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