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City of Rancho Cordova Launches Partnership with Lyft

"Free $5 to Ride" encourages use of public transit

Post Date:05/23/2019 9:12 AM

With the support of a $75,000 grant from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), the City of Rancho Cordova is partnering with Lyft to launch a pilot program to encourage Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) ridership in the City by helping to reduce transit access barriers.

The new pilot program, called “Free $5 to Ride,” provides SacRT riders with a Lyft coupon code (RCFREE5) worth up to $5. The coupon code can be used toward a Lyft ride that begins or ends at one of the four SacRT light rail stations in Rancho Cordova, up to 60 times per month. The concept is predicated on providing commuters traveling to and from Rancho Cordova via SacRT with alternatives to first mile/last mile connections, reducing the need to drive alone and ultimately increasing transit usage.

“This innovative pilot program, the first ride-hailing partnership focused on commuter travel in the Sacramento region, will study whether incentives such as a $5 Lyft credit, designed to make using SacRT more convenient and affordable, will increase use of public transportation,” said Vice Mayor David Sander, who also chairs SACOG.

For example, Free $5 to Ride would provide people commuting to Rancho Cordova for work via SacRT with a $5 credit toward a Lyft ride from the SacRT station in Rancho Cordova to their office. The coupon code is automatically applied to any eligible ride that begins or ends at SacRT stations in Rancho Cordova (Mather Field/Mills, Zinfandel, Cordova Town Center, and Sunrise Stations).

“Lyft is excited to partner with the City of Rancho Cordova to enhance access to transit and create more reliable and sustainable transportation options. As partners, we’re working to make existing transit service even more convenient and attractive,” said Bakari Brock, Senior Director of City Partnerships for Lyft.

The City of Rancho Cordova and Lyft soft launched the pilot program during the first week in May to conduct initial testing of the program, but now it can be widely used. Those who have used RCFREE5 say it’s easy and convenient.

“For several years now, SacRT staff has been committed to providing a safe and comfortable ride on bus and light rail. At the same time, they have looked for creative ways to encourage ridership. Whether you are headed to the Golden 1 Center, work, or school, SacRT wants to make it an easy choice to leave the car at home,” said Rancho Cordova Council Member Linda Budge, who also serves on the SacRT Board.

"We are greatly appreciative of our long-standing partnership with the City of Rancho Cordova and look forward to supporting this innovative pilot program," said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. "We hope this pilot will attract new riders and empower residents to leave their cars at home, knowing they have a number of mobility options to get around the region."

“One of the best ways to boost transit ridership is to make it easier for people to get to stations,” said SACOG executive director James Corless. “We are looking forward to seeing the results of this pilot program to help us understand if new mobility can increase access to light rail to help lower car trips, congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Riders who use RCFREE5 may do so up to 60 times each calendar month. Regular SacRT fares apply for commuters using light rail or bus to get to stations located in Rancho Cordova. The pilot program will continue until all funding has been exhausted. The City of Rancho Cordova, in conjunction with Lyft, SACOG and SacRT will review the outcomes once the pilot program is completed to determine key learnings and next steps.

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