By Alison Fox
January 23, 2020
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Ride share company Lyft is expanding bike share access by offering young people free one-year memberships through the YMCA — and a little star power.

The new program partnered with basketball legend LeBron James and athlete lifestyle brand, Uninterrupted, to give 16-to-20-year-olds access to the bike share memberships on Lyft-operated systems.

“Growing up, a bike changed everything for me,” James said in a statement. “It was more than a way to go see my friends or play basketball – it was a way of life. A bike opened doors, allowed me to get to safe places after school, and gave me access to opportunities I never would have known.”

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The program will first start in the spring in New York City with Citi Bike, eventually expanding to other cities and local partners like Divvy in Chicago and Bay Wheels in the Bay Area. The YMCA will identify eligible participants, according to Lyft.

“With LeBron as our inspiration, we want to demonstrate how transportation can be a spark that helps young people reach their full potential,” John Zimmer, Lyft’s co-founder and president, said in a statement. “The future of transportation is exciting, and we feel a deep responsibility to help make transportation accessible to all.”

Kevin Washington, the president and CEO of YMCA of the USA, said in a statement that “affordable and reliable transportation is a key component” to helping young people.

The new bike share program is part of the company’s LyftUp initiative, which includes free rides for things like job training programs and interviews, as well as discounted rides for low-income families and seniors to and from grocery stores, farmers markets and food pantries.

Customers can get involved by rounding up their payments to the nearest dollar when they take a ride, which Lyft says it will donate to an organization of their choice, including the YMCA, the American Cancer Society, the ACLU, and the Human Rights Campaign.

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