LeBron James isn’t just promoting EVs – he’s also pushing biking
LeBron James brought a lot of attention to GMC recently by appearing in a Super Bowl commercial for the company’s coming Hummer EV. The vehicle and the commercial are surely exciting to some people and meh to others. No doubt about it, though, it’s great to see electric versions of any vehicle model since electrifying transport is critical for stopping climate change and cutting air pollution (and EVs are also much more fun), but the Hummer EV won’t be the greenest, cleanest, most efficient machine on the mountain. For that matter, neither is the Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF, or ultracompact and light BMW i3. The vehicle that takes #1 for being green and efficient is the humble, old-fashioned, exhilarating bicycle. Also, as much as I enjoy our Tesla Model 3 every day, I’d never hesitate to say that biking for transport is much more enjoyable if you have a good route for that.
The good news is that King James is also promoting biking, alongside Lyft. A video about this (without sound as far as I can tell) fills Lyft’s homepage. The video with the voiceover (and some good music) is here:
Behind the cool shots of young people biking and the towering presence of LeBron James, what the program is doing is offering 1 year of free bikeshare access to teenagers in New York City, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area who don’t come from the wealthiest households.
The partnership also involves Uninterrupted, a LeBron James company focused on athlete empowerment, and the YMCA.
“You might think, it’s just a bike. But for a young person, a bike can open up the world. It’s a way – and, often, the only way – to get to class, practice, games, lessons, work, and more. A bike is freedom. A bike is opportunity,” Lyft’s LyftUp program page wisely states.
LeBron James is no stranger to biking, of course. He has even been known to bike to work from time to time.
This is not Lyft’s only effort to help lift up those facing the challenge of getting a solid foundation in this crazy world. “The difference between landing a job and a lost opportunity often comes down to a ride. So we provide free Lyft car rides to and from job training programs, interviews, and the first three weeks of new employment to give unemployed individuals a fairer chance at success.”
People born into a wealthy enough situation can have a hard time understanding that a base level of support can be extremely hard to find when you don’t start out with one. It can be like trying to climb a mountain that is full of quicksand traps. Lyft’s focus on helping to provide the true essentials to more families is noble and very useful. It’s the kind of thing you might expect a compassionate government to provide for its own people, but this is the United States, where approximately half of politicians are much more interested in providing welfare to giant corporations and tax loopholes for the rich than a half-decent social safety net and support system for millions of Americans.
Another portion of the LyftUp program is focused on helping people get healthy food. “Approximately 23.5 million people in the US live in neighborhoods without access to fresh, healthy food. Nearly half of them live on low incomes. Making the trek to a grocery store across town isn’t always an option. We offer discounted Lyft car rides to low-income families and seniors heading to and from grocery stores, farmers markets, food pantries, and SNAP benefits appointments.”
The program also helps people get to the polls to vote, provides transportation for those in urgent need due to a natural disaster, supports local organizations serving society, and more. Regarding that third item, Lyft writes, “We award over $500,000 in ride credit annually to small, grassroots organizations that are helping close transportation gaps in their communities. Apply.”
It’s uplifting to see a for-profit company doing so much to support society in important, life-saving, financially supportive ways. In a time of what seems like so little compassion from so many people, Lyft just made my day.
Follow CleanTechnica on Google News.
(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica.)