INDIANAPOLIS - The city of Indianapolis is expanding its Lyft Grocery Access program to the near northwest side, an area identified as a “food desert.”

The program, which was launched in July on the city’s far east side, provides $1 Lyft rides to and from grocery stores for families living in areas of limited food access.

“The Lyft Grocery Access pilot is one part of our city’s holistic efforts to create a more equitable city in terms of access to healthy food,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

The expanded pilot on the west side will serve residents in an area bounded by 42nd Street on the north, St. Clair Street on the south, Meridian Street on the east, and Riverside Drive on the west.

Participants will have the option to choose from several area grocery stores.

“Having the ability to sustain the basic human need of food is worth fighting for every day, and Cleo’s Bodega is proud to be part of this effort that will help our neighbors reach nutritious food and fulfill that need,” said Sibeko Jywanza, Manager of Cleo’s Bodega, one of the participating stores.

Participants are eligible for two Lyft rides per week to get to and from a grocery store at the cost of $1 each way.

Lyft drivers who help residents in the program receive standard payment on these subsidized rides and are not notified that the rider is a participant in the pilot program.

The city says the pilot program on the east side provided more than 1,000 rides to over 130 individuals.