Ride-hailing giant Uber launched a new campaign in Turkey on Monday, offering two free rides to passengers traveling to hospitals to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Passengers are able to benefit from free rides with a code supplied by the Uber app. Currently, the service is available only for rides to and from public hospitals in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.
The company’s Turkey manager, Neyran Bahadırlı, told Demirören News Agency (DHA) that they allocated a budget of TL 1 million ($119,000) for the campaign. “Vaccines are our only hope to beat the pandemic, and we are glad to support the ongoing vaccination campaign in Turkey,” Bahadırlı said.
The campaign covers the rides to and from the hospitals with a cap of TL 40. The company said those receiving vaccines, as well as people accompanying relatives, will be able to benefit from the campaign.
Turkey started a vaccination campaign in January 2021 and has administered more than 28 million doses as of Monday. The country hopes to launch a normalization process next month thanks to the rise in the number of vaccinations. A 17-day lockdown that ended last week helped the country to decrease the number of daily cases, which now stand at around 7,800. The country, where currently people aged 55 and above are eligible for vaccination, is striving to lower the age eligibility limit by importing more vaccines. The Health Ministry also seeks to convince vaccine skeptics by deploying "persuasion" crews to households.
Uber fought a lengthy legal battle in Turkey after taxi drivers filed a lawsuit against the company. Last year, a court lifted the ban on access to the ride-hailing app. The company switched to traditional yellow taxis after the ban was lifted.