Childcare, Travel Support Offered to Essential Workers During COVID-19 Emergency

Two area organizations are offering childcare and travel support for essential workers at no cost during the COVID-19 emergency.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has opened several of its branches and program centers to provide emergency childcare for workers, including at the Silver Spring branch.

The Silver Spring location at 9800 Hastings Dr. will take children from 2-5 years old. The initial hours of operation will be from 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Each child will receive breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.

Parents can register at the Y’s emergency care website on a first-come, first-serve basis, as space is limited. They will be required to provide proof that they’re an essential worker, along with a work schedule.

At the same time, the county’s Department of Transportation announced temporary programs from Capital Bikeshare and Lyft scooters to provide free rides to essential employees.

The offer covers all seven members of the Capital Bikeshare program. In addition to Montgomery County, they are the District of Columbia, Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, the City of Falls Church, Fairfax County and Prince George’s County.

Employers in those jurisdictions can email Lyft, which operates the program under contract, at [email protected] to enroll staff members in the Bikeshare offer.

“In response to an email inquiry, employers will receive instructions and a sign-up code that they can share with their employees. Free rides will be available immediately upon enrollment,” according to the announcement.

Through May 1, enrolled workers can take unlimited Bikeshare trips (of less than 30 minutes each trip) for 30 days. Essential workers also can enroll directly by emailing [email protected].

In addition, Capital Bikeshare will offer single trips to any user for $1, half off the regular price, according to Anna Root, the county’s Capital Bikeshare program manager.

Lyft Electric Scooters is offering 30-day free memberships in Montgomery County and the District of Columbia, where it operates shared e-scooter programs.

The company will offer free unlimited, 30-minute rides through April 30 under its Critical Workforce program.

Image from Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.