NEW YORK—The American Optometric Association (AOA), representing more than 30,000 doctors of optometry, announced that it is working with Lyft, the transportation network, to offer free rides to people in select cities in an effort to make it easier to get their #2020EyeExam with a doctor of optometry. For a limited time only, the AOA is offering a free roundtrip ride (up to $25) with rideshare partner Lyft to anyone traveling to the optometrist beginning March 2, while supplies last.

Rides will be offered in 10 select cities: Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, Miami, New York City, St. Louis, and Seattle. To access your local code, go to

“We want to ensure people are able to attend their annual comprehensive eye exams and understand the importance of protecting not only their vision, but their overall health,” said Barbara L. Horn, OD, AOA president. “By partnering with Lyft, we are able to help more people overcome a significant barrier and allow them to see an AOA doctor of optometry.”

According to AOA’s annual Eye-Q Survey, more than a quarter of Americans say getting their comprehensive eye exam is challenging because it’s hard to get to the location.The survey also found that 61 percent of millennials would use rideshare to get to an exam.

“Enabling better access to health care through reliable transportation is something that Lyft cares deeply about,” said Megan Callahan, VP of Healthcare at Lyft. “We know that rideshare plays a critical role in helping patients get the care they need, so we’re excited about the opportunity to broaden our impact in local communities through this initiative with the AOA, a leading authority in optometry.”

As VMAIL reported the AOA announced the launch of its “Start with Eye” campaign to make eye health and vision care a national priority in 2020. The public awareness campaign underscores the importance of receiving an in-person comprehensive eye examination with an AOA doctor of optometry as part of their annual health care routine.

While 95 percent of Americans say having good vision is important to their job, 58 percent of Americans have not gotten a comprehensive eye exam in the past two years, according to the survey.

As with many systemic diseases, most eye diseases, if detected early, may be treated before detrimental effects on the health and vision can take place. If a problem is detected, doctors of optometry help patients and their families navigate to the right prevention plans or the next steps in official diagnosis and treatment. In 2018, for instance, doctors of optometry identified signs of diabetes in more than 301,000 patients who did not know they had it, leading to earlier management of the disease.

For more information on the Start with Eye initiative, visit