Taxi service offering free rides to polls, ballot drop-off sites on Election Day 2020
Lou Go's introduces new service for county voters
- The program is known as the Roll to the Polls campaign.
- Voters can reserve a ride by visiting the Lou Go's website.
- Donations are being sought to help offset the cost of the program.
FARMINGTON — San Juan County residents who are looking forward to casting a ballot on Election Day but lack reliable transportation will be able to secure a ride to their polling place this year with the help of a local nonprofit organization.
Lou Go's, a taxi service founded by Capacity Builders Inc. and dedicated to offering area residents affordable transportation, has mounted its Roll to the Polls campaign by which free round-trip rides to polling and ballot drop-off sites in Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield and Kirtland will be offered to residents on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Those interested in taking advantage of the service can reserve a spot by visiting https://lou-gos.taxi/roll-to-the-polls/ or by calling 505-324-6568. The rides are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, and Lou Go's is listing the polling locations and ballot drop sites it is servicing on its Roll to the Polls web page.
Lou Go's manager Chris Frank said this is the first time the company has offered the free service.
"We're really excited and hope it turns out well for everybody," he said. "Right now, it's (more clear than ever) we have the ability to help out the community with transportation. … It's our way of trying to give back in a way we haven't before."
Frank said lower-income residents are the focus of the program, but he emphasized that anyone can take advantage of the service.
"We're trying to reach a good amount of people," he said. "Our goal is in the hundreds."
Frank cited a national survey that indicated that 14% of eligible voters said they did not have the ability to reach their polling location on Election Day. He said he believes a significant number of San Juan County voters have the same issue, pointing to the number of local residents who have to car pool, take a cab, ride a bike, take Red Apple Transit or walk to work every day.
Lou Go's is hiring extra drivers to deal with the anticipated demand for the service. Frank said he anticipates hiring up to a half dozen new drivers, and the company already is in the process of interviewing some candidates.
Anyone interested in helping Lou Go's cover the cost of the service — which includes wear and tear on the vehicles and fuel — can do so by making an online donation through GoFundMe at https://gf.me/u/y4nghr. Frank expects Lou Go's drivers to cover 500 to 600 miles on Nov. 3 as part of the program.
"We'd like to raise $1,400," Frank said.
The program already was generating some social media buzz within a few hours of its announcement on Oct. 13. Frank said that while it is possible there may be a big enough response that Lou Go's has to put capacity constraints in place, he doesn't expect that to happen.
"We want to give as many rides to people as possible," he said.
Frank intends for the Roll to the Polls campaign to become a regular occurrence.
"We're hoping to offer this for every election," he said. "This is something we can do on and on for our community."
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.