On Nov. 10, Uber and Lyft announced a new initiative to offer free rides to veterans to work, job interviews, and for other needs, Military Times reports. In partnership with the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, the ride-sharing platforms’ campaign is meant to help end veterans homelessness across the country.
According to a TechCrunch report, Uber has pledged 10,000 free rides, or $125,000 in profits, to the effort. It was unclear at the time of reporting how many rides Lyft plans to donate.
“We have heard time and time again that transportation to and from work and job interviews is often a significant hurdle for homeless veterans trying to find work,” Joining Forces executive director and Air Force colonel, Nicole Malachowski, wrote in a statement to Military Times.
“If a veteran is working a night shift or employed in a remote area of a city, public transportation is not always a viable option, and there is limited funding available for alternative transportation.”
The rides will begin in the coming months in collaboration with veterans organizations affiliated with the Labor Department’s Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program.
President Donald Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)
The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.
But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.
The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.