The last 10 days have been scary for all of us, making many of us wary to venture outside. This why I am pleased to report I have worked out an arrangement with the ride sharing company, Lyft, to offer a 50% discount to Rogers Park residents for rides within the Rogers Park community.
Here’s how it works:
Lyft is providing my office with discount cards good for 50% off for two rides within the Rogers Park community between now and the end of October, or when the suspect in the two shooting deaths is apprehended, whichever occurs first. The cards will be available at my 49th Ward Service Office beginning tomorrow (Thursday, October 11th) at 9:00 a.m. on a first-come, first served basis.
You can pick up your card at my office at 7356 N. Greenview (at Jarvis) or, if you prefer, we will mail the card to you at my expense. Simply reply to this email with your name and address.
This offer is available only to residents of Rogers Park and can only be used within Rogers Park. The Rogers Park community boundaries are the Evanston border on the north, Devon Ave. on the south, Lake Michigan on the east and Ridge Ave. on the west. Please note that the 50% discount only applies to the trip costs of time and distance, and does not apply to the taxes and Lyft’s service fee, which is normally around $1.85 for a local ride.
As you may know, Lyft is an on demand transportation company, whose drivers provide you door-to-door service. Simply download the Lyft mobile app to your iOS or Android-based phone, sign up, enter a valid phone number, and enter a valid form of payment (either a credit card, or link to an Apple Pay, Google Wallet, or PayPal account). You can then request a ride from a nearby driver. Once confirmed, the app shows the driver’s name, ratings by past passengers, and photos of the driver and car.
As with most good ideas, the Lyft discount arose out of a brainstorming session. Rene Labrana and Sandra Carter, owners of R Public House and Taste Food and Wine, came to me on behalf of the Jarivs Square businesses, seeking my help in securing a shuttle service for people to safely travel within Rogers Park. They tell their businesses have experienced a real drop in customers since the shooting incident occurred.
We thought of borrowing a van from a local church or theater, but realized it would be impossible for such a van to meet the demand for door-to-door services. We also thought of seeking volunteers to drive people, but realized we did not have the capacity to do background checks on the volunteers. This is when I came up with the idea of approaching the ride share companies to see if they would be able to provide discounted transportation within Rogers Park.
Lyft to their credit stepped up to the plate and agreed to help (Uber, the other major ride share company, has agreed to consider it, but is still working out some technical glitches). Lyft performs background checks on all its drivers and all their pick-ups and drop-offs are recorded into their system, thus ensuring a secure ride for passengers.
Hopefully, this generous offer from Lyft will provide a measure of comfort to residents who have been hesitant to venture out these last few days. And hopefully, it will provide a shot in the arm for our local businesses who have taken an economic hit since the shootings occurred.
Even if you don’t avail yourself of Lyft’s offer, I do hope you support our local businesses this month. Call a friend or neighbor and go out shopping or dining together in Rogers Park. It’s a great way to spend a day or evening and help those small, locally-owned businesses, which deserve your support!