New Jersey is partnering with ride hailing companies Uber and Lyft to bring free and discounted rides to residents who lost a personal vehicle as a result of Tropical Storm Ida, according to a Sept. 8 announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy’s Office.
For the next two weeks, New Jersey residents who lost a vehicle can text NJIDARIDE to 898-211 to request a Lyft or Uber ride. Those without access to a smartphone can dial 2-1-1 from any phone line.
NJ 211 is the hotline for the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, which is run by United Way Worldwide.
“Nobody should have to worry after a natural disaster how they will get to essential places like the grocery store and medical appointments. Lyft is proud to join Gov. Murphy in helping New Jerseyans get where they need to go until they can get back on their feet,” said Lyft Social Impact Director Lisa Boyd.
“It is critical that everyone come together to support those in need and we are proud to work with Gov. Murphy to provide essential transportation services across the state. We hope to play a small role in helping New Jersey residents get back on their feet,” said Alix Anfang, spokesperson, Uber.
According to NJ 211 Executive Director Melissa Acree, more than 1,000 contacts have been handled by the hotline since the storm hit.
Some limitations may apply to the transportation offerings available from each company, riders can contact 211 for additional information.
The storm produced massive flooding and some tornados throughout New Jersey on Sept. 2. and the governor declared a State of Emergency, which will facilitate access to federal relief aid for New Jersey. The state has made available $10 million to help small businesses with rent payments as they recover from the storm; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a Major Disaster Declaration in Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset counties, with more assessments and additional counties expected to be included as the process develops.
FEMA’s declaration allows individuals in the six approved counties to register for direct assistance for Ida-related recovery, which can include home repairs, temporary housing, low-cost loans, and other programs.