Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Princeton to offer free Lyft rides to off-campus medical appointments

A white truck with the words "public safety" painted on its side is parked in front of McCosh Health Center, a red brick building, in the early evening.
A Public Safety truck parked in front of McCosh Health Center.
Louisa Gheorghita / The Daily Princetonian

The University will soon launch a Lyft voucher program to transport students to and from off-campus medical appointments. Run through the Office of Campus Life, it will serve both undergraduate and graduate students.

The initiative is the direct result of a recommendation from a 2022 mental health resources report written in a working group collaboration between the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the Office of Campus Life, and University Health Services. Although the recommendation was originally confined to mental health appointments, the Lyft vouchers will apply to all off-campus medical appointments — physical and mental.  

According to USG President Stephen Daniels ’24, the full program is expected to be publicly announced on the University’s website sometime in the coming week. 

The University declined to comment on the exact release date of the initiative. However, Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Campus Life Alison Greenberg told The Daily Princetonian that they “are hoping to have all of the logistics worked out by the end of this week.”

Daniels, who co-chaired the USG Mental Health Resources Task Force, explained that the recommendation was prompted by the University Health Services’s practice of referring patients to off-campus providers for mental health care. 

“[T]ransportation was going to be an issue — especially for students for whom that copay was already a bit of a financial burden,” he stated in an interview with the ‘Prince.’

The development of the voucher program was overseen by Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Calvin Chin. Calhoun remarked on the existence of the initiative at the latest Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) meeting, stating that the Lyft program was “not publicized very well.”

Originally intended to launch in Spring of 2023, the initiative is not the first of its kind among Princeton’s peer institutions — its conception took direct inspiration from the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Well Ride program.

In 2022, UNC’s student government began a partnership with Lyft to provide free transportation to off-campus mental health appointments for undergraduates. For UNC’s program, students submitted their therapist’s address to the student government. The student government would then coordinate with Lyft on behalf of students to schedule rides. 

Daniels noted that Princeton’s program will be funded and run through the Office of Campus Life, instead of the USG, to avoid encountering scheduling difficulties between students and members of the USG managing individual requests.  

Participants in the program will receive Lyft vouchers to their off-campus appointments in the area. This is an expansion of the University’s existing relationship with Lyft’s rideshare service. Currently, University departments have the opportunity to design transportation programs with the company — from one-use passes to autopay for rides.

It is unclear what restrictions may be applied on the vouchers for medical appointments.

The launch of the rideshare program will mark the near completion of the recommendations set by the Mental Health Resources Working Group’s report. During September’s CPUC meeting, Calhoun noted that 90 percent of the report’s recommendations have been met so far.

Eden Teshome is the head Podcast editor and senior News writer for the ‘Prince.’

Please send corrections to corrections[at]