Uber is partnering with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to provide 50,000 free rides to transport the elderly and the underserved communities to COVID-19 vaccination centers.
The free rides will also be available for frontline healthcare workers travelling to hospitals, including the National Hospital of Infectious Diseases, during the ongoing lockdown. This initiative is a part of our global commitment to provide 10 million free or discounted rides to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to getting the vaccine and to help authorities in trying to contain the pandemic.
Commenting on the partnership, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Hon’ble Minister of Health, Government of Sri Lanka, said, “We truly appreciate Uber’s commitment to offer 50,000 free rides to the Red Cross in Sri Lanka to support access to vaccination centers for senior and vulnerable citizens, as well as frontline healthcare workers who are saving lives. These will not only facilitate safer mobility options for those who need it the most, but also support our country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Public-private partnerships such as these play a critical role in removing barriers to access to healthcare, and help people stay safe. We appreciate that from the very beginning of this pandemic, Uber has acted as a highly responsible organisation by providing transport for frontline healthcare workers and in delivering essential supplies to citizen’s homes. We look forward to working closely with Uber in helping our cities move again and rebuilding lives.’’
Speaking about the initiative, Dr. Mahesh Gunasekara, Director General, Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, said, “We’re delighted with Uber Sri Lanka’s pledge of 50,000 free rides to the Red Cross for supporting vaccination efforts in the country. These rides will facilitate transportation of the vulnerable and senior citizens as well as our volunteers and frontline healthcare workers, who are working round the clock to save lives and inoculate our citizens. This timely support will ensure we can protect ourselves, our families, friends and our communities from the pandemic. We look forward to joining hands with Uber in building back better.’’
In addition to supporting the vaccination drive, our free rides will also help create earning opportunities for drivers on our platform during these challenging times, similar to when we had launched our UberMedic service last year, to help transport healthcare workers.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have worked relentlessly to help move what matters and by offering discounts on our Tuk service to residents, travelling to and from 13 vaccination centers across Colombo.
We also partnered with the Ministry of Health to launch a COVID-19 Awareness Campaign to reinforce safety and hygiene protocols and promote safety best practices.