DALLAS - Mavericks point guard JJ Barea and bike-sharing company Ofo have partnered to bring 600 bikes to Barea’s native Puerto Rico.
Ofo, one of several bike-share companies to pop up in Dallas in recent months, shipped the bikes to Puerto Rico, where the JJ Barea Foundation assembled them. Ofo and the foundation was set to host a demonstration in San Juan Wednesday on how to use the bikes.
The bikes will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico and neighborhoods along the Martin Peña Channel just outside San Juan in northern Puerto Rico -- an area that didn’t receive FEMA aid until a month after Maria hit, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Maria made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 20, destroying entire cities and leaving the entire island without power. Some areas were just regaining electricity this week, nearly four months after the storm.
The bikes will help a ravaged public transportation system on the island.
“Hurricane Maria destroyed many of our roads, people are without cars, and public transportation is limited, so getting around the island and having access to everyday necessities is still a big challenge,” Barea said in a press release. “These 600 bikes will go a long way in assisting Puerto Rico’s rehabilitation, and I appreciate ofo for making that happen.”
It’s not the first time Barea has gotten involved in relief following the catastrophic storm. One week after landfall, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban loaned the team plane to Barea to deliver water and supplies to Puerto Rico.
Barea, the only Puerto Rican-born NBA player, missed the first day of training camp for the relief effort.
“Puerto Rico is home. My family, friends and community are there, and they still need a lot of help to recover from such a devastating hurricane,” Barea said.
Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner, Jenniffer González-Colón, released the following statement of gratitude following the bike donation:
“We greatly appreciate the generosity of our basketball icon Jose Juan Barea and his foundation, which is helping to rebuild Puerto Rico. Our island is still in need and we still face aftermaths of Hurricane Maria everyday. Every kind of contribution is important to boost relief efforts. Thanks to the ofo company for this generous donation that will aid our people and our island. After the hurricane, the spirit of Puerto Ricans continues to stand strong and united.”
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