Pando

Drive for Uber or Lyft? Get a 100% free Pando membership right now

By Sarah Lacy and Paul Bradley Carr , written on February 5, 2016

From The Future of Journalism Desk

Update: We've now given away all of the free memberships available. Thanks to everyone who grabbed one! The free sign up link no longer works, but you can (of course) still grab a regular paid membership right here.  

A few months ago, we launched our Pando Patrons program: A way for supporters of Pando's journalism to sponsor free memberships for people who might otherwise not be able to pay for them.

To kick off the giveaway, Braintree kindly sponsored 1,000 free memberships. Since then dozens of individual patrons have added hundreds more to the pool. 

To date, we've given away about half of the available free memberships, to everyone from students and non-profits to unemployed tech workers and bootstrapping founders.

Today we're giving away the other half.

In recent weeks, our inboxes and social feeds have been filled with requests for free or discounted memberships from a certain group of workers who absolutely meet the criteria for the giveaway. They work on the front lines of the tech industry, but are often paid appallingly for their labors. They absolutely should be reading Pando, but the wages paid by their billionaire bosses are barely enough to pay the rent, let alone subscribe to online journalism.

We're talking, of course, about ridesharing drivers. Specifically those working for Uber and Lyft, both of which have recently seen their income slashed as their "employees" scramble for a sustainable business model. In Uber's case, those cuts have reportedly taken many drivers  below minimum wage.

Starting right now, if you're an Uber or Lyft driver you can claim your 100% free annual Pando membership, paid for by our sponsors and patrons, while supplies last. All you have to do is complete this customized version of our membership form and your subscription will be activated immediately. You'll get all of the benefits of Pando membership, with zero restrictions or caveats.

A few things to note:

The only way we could give away this many subscriptions all at once, without building a whole new subscription system (or processing everyone manually), was to use a modified version of our standard sign up page. For that reason, you will be asked to enter your credit card info when you register. This allows us to verify your identity and also protects against bulk/automated signups. You will also get an automated "thanks for your payment" email when your membership is approved but you can safefly ignore it. WE PROMISE: YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED ANYTHING, AT ALL, EVER. 

If you really, really don't believe that we won't charge you - or if don't have a credit card - email [email protected] with your name, email address and a message stating you drive for Uber or Lyft and we'll process your request manually as quickly as we can. We can't promise we'll have enough free subscriptions to grant every request. When they're gone, they're gone!

We may contact you to verify your status as a Lyft/Uber driver, but generally speaking we're operating on an honor system. If you're not a ridesharing driver, or if you don't need a free membership, please leave them for those who are/do. Please don't take multiple memberships or otherwise abuse the system. We reserve the right to cancel any free memberships, at any time, for any reason.

This offer isn’t available to anyone who is already a Pando member (sorry.) 

We know there are plenty of other sharing economy companies whose workers are underpaid. Thanks to Pando Patrons, we're adding more sponsored memberships to the pool every week. Future membership giveaways will be focussed on other companies/workers. 

If you're a driver for Uber or Lyft, you can get your 100% free one year Pando subscription here. Hurry! When they're gone, they're gone. [Update: They're gone!]

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(If you'd like to support Pando's journalism by becoming a Pando Patron, there are still a few slots available. Go here for details on how you can help give the gift of Pando while supporting our journalism.)