CHICAGO, January 21, 2020 – YMCA of the USA and Lyft today announced a new effort to expand bikeshare access and equity across the country. Together, the Y and Lyft will empower thousands of young people by providing free, one-year bikeshare memberships for Lyft- operated systems. Memberships will be distributed in collaboration with the Y to thousands of eligible 16- to 20-year-olds throughout the year.
The new effort was announced today at the Harlem Y, in collaboration with the YMCA of Greater New York, and included surprise appearances from basketball star LeBron James and professional BMX athlete and filmmaker Nigel Sylvester.
Nearly 4.5 million Americans don’t have easy access to affordable, reliable transportation. This reality can be hardest for young people, whose futures depend on their ability to connect with opportunities across the communities they call home.
“The Y is committed to helping young people reach their full potential, and we know that affordable and reliable transportation is a key component. We’re excited to partner with Lyft to provide another way for young people to access new opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive,” says Kevin Washington, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA.
“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,” says John Zimmer, Lyft co-founder and President.
The Y and Lyft will identify eligible young people in the Y network, provide memberships and educate around bike safety – with a focus on removing barriers in young peoples’ lives. The new program will start this spring in New York City (Citi Bike®️), then continue throughout the year with tailored programs developed in tandem with local partners in Chicago (Divvy) and the Bay Area (Bay Wheels).
Today’s bikeshare announcement is part of the new LyftUp initiative – a comprehensive effort to expand transportation access to those who need it most. In addition to bike access, LyftUp combines all of Lyft’s ride equity programs into one collective vision. Throughout 2020, the Y will be a featured partner in the Lyft app, offering riders the opportunity to round-up their ride payment and donate the difference to the Y, directly supporting the Y’s efforts to expand bikeshare access, remove barriers and help people reach their full potential.