- Lyft today announced a partnership with national park nonprofit group The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to create and protect parks nationwide.
- The partnership will fund park development in underserved communities that are "park-poor," according to Lyft's senior director of policy and partnership Lilly Shoup. TPL accepted and reviewed applications with Lyft to determine which parks to fund. Seven parks were selected; those locations are undisclosed but will be revealed in the coming weeks, according to Shoup.
- "[TPL's] vision for creating livable cities is so aligned with ours," Shoup told Smart Cities Dive when explaining the motivation behind the partnership. "Parks are really a key piece of creating a livable city, and we're really excited about showcasing how access to parks can be a key piece of improving communities."
Lyft has been bullish on its sustainability goals over the last few years in an effort to distinguish itself as a climate-friendly transportation company. Last year, the company committed to becoming fully carbon neutral and using 100% renewable energy across its platform, and earlier this month Lyft announced its City Works program, which aims to make clean transportation more accessible in cities across the country. Even Lyft's shift into shared mobility, including its purchase of docked bike-share operator Motivate, showcases Lyft's commitment to sustainable transportation.
When asked how these investments help set the company apart from competitors, Shoup said, "sustainability goals are a key piece of how Lyft is a values-driven company." And positioning itself as such may be a saving grace for the company, which otherwise faces rough competitive headwinds as Uber gears up its IPO. Lyft beat Uber to the punch by going public at the end of March, however its stock has quickly declined from its IPO price of $72 a share to $60.12 a share, in part due to questions about the company's potential for profitability.
While the park locations are not yet announced, Lyft is hopeful customers and stakeholders, regardless of location, will become engaged in this effort to build more green spaces. The company is adding its TPL efforts to Round Up & Donate, an opt-in program through which customers can round up ride payments to the nearest dollar and donate the change to a charitable cause.