Broward College to Give Students a Lyft

Image Courtesy of Broward College

Megan VinebergStaff Writer

As part of a whole host of improvement plans through the CARES Act, Broward College has partnered with the rideshare company Lyft. Offering Lyft rides will provide access and incentive to students who don’t otherwise have the resources to get to and from campus.

Thanks to Seahawk Outreach Services (SOS), Broward College is providing students with ride share vouchers valuable for one month (up to $80), or valuable for one semester (up to $223).

Those students who are found eligible receive promotion codes to enter directly from the rideshare app. Students become eligible after having taken classes the past two semesters, or if they are currently enrolled in classes. Approval is limited to or from the Central, South and North campuses and the Willis Holcombe Center, while previous versions of the program allowed only for trips from campus to campus.

Eligibility is based on need and must be approved by the Seahawk Outreach Services Department. Students interested inparticipatingwiththeBroward College Lyft Ride Program can apply by visiting the Seahawk Outreach Services section of the Broward College website.

If needed, students may also contact Melanie Gnaizda-Gilson at for more information. via the Broward College website under Students, then clicking on Resources and going to Student Outreach Services to apply as soon as possible as spaces are limited. For technical support before beginning a trip, students must contact 954-201-4SOS (or 4767). If help is needed after a trip has ended, students must use the help section from within the app for issues such as lost and found items.

Students are responsible for entering a credit, debit, or prepaid card with sufficient funds to cover any extra charges or fees incurred, for up $5 cancellation, or no-show fee. Tips not included in the trip voucher and are the responsibility of the student. Tips are paid via the in-app feature only. Should students decide to extend the courtesy, 100 percent of tips go to the driver. Students must note that the Lyft Ride Program only covers standard trips and does not allow for more than one passenger to be in the vehicle.

For those students with disabilities, drivers are required by both law and Lyft company policy to accommodate for service animals. Service animals are especially trained for those with documented disabilities (such as being hard of hearing, being short of sight, and those who experience seizures). If a driver refuses to accommodate said service animal, they will be at risk for deactivation from the app, as well as under investigation.

Students concerned with safety need not worry. Lyft has partnered with ADT to provide the utmost security to each passenger. As posted on the Lyft website, riding safely involves the following: verifying your ride by making sure the license plate number, driver information, and car make and model match what you see in the app. Share your location and route with a friend or loved one from within the Lyft app so they can follow your ride in real time. Follow the Lyft vehicle on GPS via the app. Ask the driver to say who they are picking up before entering the vehicle.

Riders are able to share their trip info, where trusted contacts are then able to track the rider to and from their location. Also available when a ride is shared is photo identification of the driver, the make, model, and color of their vehicle, and their license plate number. Masks are required and enforced at all times for both the passengers and drivers for the full duration of the ride.

That start of the pandemic left many without employment, forced to file for government assistance. Others have become underemployed taking mandatory pay cuts to cut down on costs.

“It is our job to connect students with resources, and then follow up with them,” said Melanie Gnaizda-Gilson, Student Success Coordinator. Broward College understands that students have been unable to operate as they normally would.

If the schools are shut down, all of sudden childcare and the costs associated become an issue. If the grocery stores are shut down or limited capacity, access to fresh foods can become more of an obstacle. Broward College met these challenges with free childcare and food and hygiene item distribution drives on a weekly basis for students in need.

The ultimate aim of the Lyft program for students was to help students all around. Consequently, by improving their life circumstances, it provides the students with the opportunity to even perform better academically.

“We are advocates in helping students get what they need, making sure that we alleviate as much as possible for them,” said Annelle Moss, Student Success Coordinator.

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