The transportation company Lyft said on Wednesday that it was partnering with the Brooklyn-based West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) to offer a free “Mommies Ride” credit program to expectant mothers.
WIADCA organizes the annual massive West Indian American Carnival Parade on Brooklyn’s Parkway on Labor Day Monday. The association hosted virtual events this year because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Lyft, whose mission is to improve people’s lives with “the world’s best transportation,” said it is giving access to $80 in ride credits to up to 25 expectant mothers each month through the end of the year.
WIADCA said it launched “WIADCA Cares”, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, “in order to provide COVID-19 relief for vulnerable populations, such as these mothers.”
“They can use the codes for rides to the doctor, grocery store or just to run errands,” said Lyft in a statement.
“We are proud to partner with WIADCA Cares to make it easier for these mothers, who may be anxious about welcoming a baby to the world during a global pandemic,” said Jen Hensley, Lyft’s senior director of public policy. “Our hope is these ride codes can help them more easily travel to important appointments and run necessary errands.”
Michelle Gibbs-Francis, WIADCA Board member, marketing chair and WIADCA Cares lead, said “WIADCA Cares was our COVID call to action.
“With this great opportunity to partner with Lyft, we extend what community and family really mean to us,” she said. “We hope to continue to serve our community impactfully through these partnerships.”
WIADCA chairperson Angela Sealy said, “Our vision for WIADCA Cares was just to assist wherever needed. Over the months, the community need grew; and now, for the first time, our expecting mothers and babies also can be helped during this difficult time. Thank you to Lyft for meeting this need.”
Councilmember Farah N. Louis, co-chair of the City Council’s Women’s Caucus, said pregnancy is “one of the most exciting yet challenging times for expectant mothers, particularly during a global health crisis.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many New Yorkers canceled their regular appointments to avoid hospitals and doctors’ offices,” said the Haitian American representative for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn. “The partnership between WIADCA Cares and Lyft is essential for expectant mothers who need reliable, stress-free transportation to help ease them into routine doctor visits.
“Mommies Ride is an innovative idea that offers the women of my community the support that they need to prioritize the health of both mother and child without reservation,” Louis added.
Cheryl Hall, executive director, Brooklyn-based Caribbean Women’s Health Association, thanked Lyft and WIADCA for “extending support to our expecting mothers by providing safe, secure means of transportation during COVID.
She noted that East Flatbush, Brooklyn has the highest rates of severe maternal morbidity and mortality for Black mothers and babies.
“And, over the years, we have worked with partners like WIADCA to ensure our communities receive the quality resources and services they so desperately need,” Hall said. “We applaud Lyft for implementing such a meaningful initiative.”
Lyft said it was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer “to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, and is available to 95 percent of the United States population as well as select cities in Canada.”
WIADCA said has promoted Caribbean history, culture, contributions and impact for 53 years.
The organization said its mission is activated through year-round services and programming for families, seniors and youth.