Lyft News

Introducing LyftUp: Transportation access for all

Rosie Bubb - Jan 21, 2020
Poster - lyftup-bikes

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. 

We’re proud to announce that Lyft is partnering with LeBron James and his athlete empowerment company Uninterrupted to expand bikeshare access and equity across the country. Together, we’re empowering thousands of young people by providing free, one-year bikeshare memberships for Lyft-operated systems. Memberships will be distributed in collaboration with the YMCA to eligible 16- to 20-year-olds throughout the year.

“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. 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,” says LeBron James.

You might think, it’s just a bike. But for a young person, a bike can open the world. It’s a way — and often, the only way — to get to class, practice, games, lessons, jobs, and more. A bike is freedom. A bike is opportunity. When LeBron was growing up in Akron, Ohio, a bike played a big role in shaping the person he is today. 

“With LeBron as our inspiration, 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.

We’re teaming up with the Y to 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). 

Join LyftUp by rounding up your ride payment in the Lyft app and donating to the Y. 

“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.


Today’s bikeshare announcement is part of our new LyftUp initiative – our comprehensive effort to expand transportation access to those who need it most. In addition to bike access, LyftUp combines all of our ride equity programs into one collective vision.


We believe everyone should have access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation, which has the power to help address our cities’ biggest challenges, including joblessness, food insecurity, and poor health. This vision has been core to our business from the start. More than 40% of Lyft rides start or end in low-income areas. Our riders can now find public transit, shared rides, bikes, and scooters all in the same app. Every day, Lyft helps unlock access for millions of people — providing a crucial entrypoint for upward mobility.

LyftUp bridges the most serious transportation gaps in cities across North America. We partner with leading nonprofit organizations to provide free and discounted car, bike, and scooter rides to individuals and families, enabling disconnected communities to gain access to healthy food, get to job interviews, get to the polls, connect with critical resources in the aftermath of natural disasters, and more.


Today’s bikeshare announcement builds on our successful bikeshare equity programs in every city where Lyft operates. Our existing programs provide discounted membership to better serve low-income residents, and have been developed to meet the unique needs of each city through deep partnerships with city officials, community organizations, and sponsors. 

Anyone enrolled in or qualifying for federal assistance programs (such as Medicaid, SNAP, and LIFE) can apply for significantly reduced-fare bikeshare memberships. We’re also expanding our network of bikeshare docks in lower-income neighborhoods so everyone has the chance to enjoy bikeshare

Learn more about LyftUp — and how you can help make an impact every time you ride.