LeBron James surprised a room full of excited New York City teens on Tuesday, revealing that they’d have free access to bikes for a year as part of Lyft’s new program LyftUp.
LyftUp is the ridesharing company’s new initiative to expand transportation access to “those who need it most,” the company says. “With LyftUp, we’ll partner with leading nonprofits to provide free and discounted rides for our programs, including grocery access, jobs access and voting access.”
Tuesday’s teens — gathered at the Harlem YMCA — were among the first to be gifted a free, one-year bikeshare memberships for Lyft-operated systems.
The free memberships will continue to be distributed in conjunction with the national YMCA to thousands of 16 to 20-year-olds throughout 2020. James’ company Uninterrupted is partnered with Lyft on the program.
“Growing up, a bike changed everything for me. It was more than a way to go see my friends or play basketball — it was a way of life,” James, 35, told the excited youth after being introduced by Lyft Co-founder and President John Zimmer.
Continued James, “A bike opened doors, allowed me to get to safe places after school, and gave me access to opportunities I never would have known. I’m
proud that Uninterrupted can join Lyft in bringing that access to kids and people in communities across the country,”
Zimmer noted that James’ was part of the inspiration for the initiative, explaining, “We want to demonstrate how transportation can be a spark that helps young people reach their full potential. The future of transportation is exciting, and we feel a deep responsibility to help make transportation accessible to all.”