Yesterday, the US-based Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced a partnership between its Transgender Justice Initiative and Lyft, to provide free transportation to transgender and non-binary individuals in need. This initiative was launched in an effort to help address the epidemic of violence against the Black and Brown transgender community.
The goal is simple — provide reliable and immediate access to transportation for transgender people of colour, a community that hatranss been disproportionately impacted by discrimination, stigma and violence.
On a quarterly cycle in 2021, HRC and Lyft will provide $15,000 [12,745.88 euro] in ride credits each quarter, to a group of community-based organisations that support transgender and non-binary people, with special consideration given to groups that serve transgender communities of colour. Community partners who are selected provide the credits to their nationwide clientele. In the first quarter, four community-based organisations were selected: Black Transgender Advocacy Coalition; Trans Latin@ Coalition; the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (Kansas City, Missouri); and GALAEI (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
In 2020, the Human Rights Campaign tracked at least 44 deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people, of which the majority of victims were Black or Brown. HRC recorded more violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people last year, than in any year since our tracking began in 2013. Since HRC began tracking this violence, more than 200 deaths have been recorded. Of these victims, 78% have been transgender women of colour and 85% have been transgender and gender non-conforming people of colour.
Since the start of 2021, HRC has tracked 12 known deaths of transgender or non-binary people—making the start of this year unprecedentedly violent, and more urgent for Black and Brown transgender individuals to have access to transportation. One of the community organisations, GALAEI, is a queer Latin@ social justice organisation, with programming specifically focused on transgender and non-binary people in the community, and they experienced incredible success issuing ride codes to their clients.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lyft has partnered with national and local organisations to provide transportation access to other vulnerable populations. Lyft launched a similar initiative with RAINN, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organisation, to support survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence, by connecting those in urgent need with transportation. The program seeks to provide critical resources that survivors often need to begin their relocation journey.