The ride-hailing company Lyft announced Friday morning that it will provide free rides to students attending the March for Our Lives rallies against gun violence, which are being held in cities around the country at the end of this month.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green wrote:
We believe there is something seriously wrong when the threat of gun violence is so frequent and real throughout our country. And like many, we are inspired by your leadership.
We’d be honored to support your work with free Lyft rides to March for Our Lives rallies across the country on March 24 (please remember, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)
“This is amazing. Thank you @lyft,” tweeted Cameron Kasky, one of the teen survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Since February 14, when a shooter armed with an AR-15 rifle killed 17 students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Kasky and other students have become national figures in the fight for gun control; they have organized a central Washington, D.C., protest on March 24, raised millions of dollars in star-studded donations, and have spoken powerfully before President Donald Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, and other political leaders about the need for gun policy reform. Their efforts have also encouraged dozens of major corporations, including Delta and United Airlines, the rental car companies Hertz and Avis, and MetLife Insurance, to cut ties with the National Rifle Association.
But Lyft’s move is a little different, in that it is an active show of support. And it is a savvy one: In response to the news, hundreds of tweets by other users suggested they’d be using the service in lieu of Uber, the country’s leading ride-hailing company.
This is in keeping with the other recent efforts by Lyft to distinguish the company as a more “woke” (as Zimmer famously said) ride-hailing option, compared to its more rapacious arch-rival. While Uber brought on a series of public conflagrations over the past year—#deleteUber, for example, arose in January 2017, after the company promoted surge pricing to and from JFK during a taxi strike protesting Trump’s “Muslim ban”—Lyft made demonstrations in support of progressive social movements. Among them: a $1 million donation to the American Civil Liberties Union a few hours after #deleteUber emerged, a new option for riders to round up fares to give to charities, and discounted rides to Women’s Marches around the country this past January. “We’re not the nice guys,” Zimmer told Time in March 2017. “We’re a better boyfriend.”
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