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Closing transportation gaps caused by poverty, systemic racism, and other inequities is critical for securing employment, accessing medical care, obtaining healthy food, and dealing with emergencies and crises.

Ride United was established in 2018 to support United Ways and 211s in reducing transportation barriers to help people in need across the United States. 

We believe that:

  • Everyone should be able to get where they need to go, safely and reliably. 
  • Providing transportation options for people who need them helps people pay their bills, feed their families, and more. 
  • Getting food and essential items (including pet food, hygiene items, and emergency preparation kits) should be as easy as possible, regardless of one’s circumstances. 
  • Delivering essentials to those in need is not only life-changing, it can change the way we help our neighbors. 

Everyone should be able to get where they need to go, safely and reliably.

Donate to Ride United

Your generous contribution will provide someone with a free ride to a job interview or chemotherapy appointment, or help deliver groceries from a food bank to someone in need.


Our Impact

In 2018, United Way and 211 partnered with Lyft to launch Ride United Transportation Access. Our goal was providing rides to help people in need access essential medical services, complete education programs, get to job interviews, and more. Since then, this program has provided over 431,000 free and discounted rides to over 103,000 riders across the country.

In April of 2020, when COVID-19 limited physical access to healthy food services, United Way and 211 partnered with DoorDash to launch Ride United Last Mile Delivery, which powers the delivery of charitable food and essential items. Although this program was catalyzed by the pandemic, it’s an innovative approach to long-standing food access issues in the United States. So far, it has provided more than 1.8 million free deliveries of an estimated 21.6 million meals to over 126,000 households across the country.

Success Stories

  • Bringing the Food Banks to Neighbors with DoorDash

    Thomas is a veteran experiencing homelessness who is currently housed in a motel in Tallahassee, FL. He receives deliveries weekly, directly to his room, and uses the provided kitchenette to prepare his daily meals. 

    Given his status, he moves between motels frequently but Ride United is flexible – so he can get food delivered wherever he currently calls home. 

    He is thankful that his case manager at a community partner gave him a referral to the program. 

  • Assisting Community Partners through Food Recovery & with Essential Items

    When a domestic violence shelter in Huntsville, AL ran out of laundry detergent, diapers, period supplies, and other essential items, they contacted United Way. After recovering essential items from storage and local partner donations, the United Way used Ride United to deliver these items directly, making it convenient for staff and offering dignity to residents. In this and other communities, Ride United has brought food and essential items directly to residents of domestic violence and homeless shelters. 

  • Supporting Health with Safe Transportation via Lyft

    Eiko, a senior, lives alone in low-income housing in Reno, NV. After multiple back surgeries, she can’t drive and has no reliable way to get to the grocery store or medical appointments. 

    Eiko heard about Ride United from a neighbor and called 211 for more information. She got a ride for an upcoming appointment with her primary doctor and a ride to her grocery store another day. Eiko was thankful for the support, which preserved her independence.

  • Helping Neighbors on the Path to Financial Stability

    Travis, who was experiencing homelessness, tested positive for COVID-19. After he recovered, Travis was able to find a job and an apartment but lacked transportation to get to and from work. 

    Through Ride United, Travis was able to get to work. Without the rides, Travis would have lost his job and likely his apartment. He often works seven days a week to save for a car. Travis says he wants to be independent, so that we can help more people in his community.

  • Ensuring Veterans & Caregivers Get the Help They Need

    Roland and his neighbor in Denver, CO needed a ride to the VA hospital for a medical appointment. Roland is the caretaker for his neighbor, who uses a walker and oxygen. That day, Roland’s ride fell through, but he knew it was important that his neighbor keep his doctor’s appointment. 

    After calling 211, Roland was able get a ride to and from the VA that day for his friend. The 211 specialist also referred Roland to other non-emergency transportation services, including a few specifically dedicated to serving veterans.

Support Ride United

Help us get people where they need to go by supporting Ride United. Your generous contribution will provide someone with a free ride to a job interview or chemotherapy appointment, or help deliver groceries from a food bank to someone in need. 

Donate Now.

Get Support

If you need support from the Ride United program, dial 211 or visit Free transportation and deliveries of food and essential items are not available in every community, but 211 specialists will connect you with the best available services to meet your needs.

Get Support

Join the Fight

Connect with your local United Way to see what activities are happening in your community and get involved. Find your local United Way here

If you are interested in supporting Ride United as a partner or funder, please contact Karen Sternad.