To kids, having a bike is like having a car. It’s what gets you around.
LeBron James has partnered up with Lyft to help kids in New York maneuver the city, as they have teamed up for a bikeshare program that will launch this spring in the Big Apple, and then expand to Chicago and the Bay Area.
“Growing up, a bike changed everything for me,” said James at a Harlem YMCA on Tuesday. “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,” he explained.”
Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer is giving James the credit for being the “inspiration” behind the project, as nearly 4.5 million Americans are without easy access to affordable and reliable transportation.
“We want to demonstrate how transportation can be a spark that helps young people reach their full potential,” said Zimmer.
“Taking care of the local communities is both the right thing to do and good for business,” said Zimmer to CNBC.
Lyft is also planning to offer a certain amount of free bikeshare memberships to those in need who are affiliated with the YMCA and between the ages of 16 to 20. So far, the company has invested $50 million into its existing bikeshare program called LyftUp.
In the past, James has held charity bike-a-thons, and in 2018 he provided 240 free bikes to the students that attend his I Promise school in Akron, Ohio.