Most people know Lyft as a peppy upstart nipping at Uber’s heels, but the ride-hailing company just became America’s leader in bikesharing.
On Monday, Lyft announced the acquisition of Motivate, a New York-based company that currently operates bikeshare systems in some of the largest, densest U.S. cities. That includes the four largest station-based bikeshare systems, with New York’s Citi Bike, Chicago’s Divvy, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare, and Boston’s Bluebikes. Those four systems alone generated 74 percent of the 35 million bikesharing trips—docked or dockless—taken in the United States in 2017, according to NACTO’s annual bikesharing report. Motivate is also getting a new name: Lyft Bikes.
Just months after Uber acquired the dockless electric bikeshare startup Jump, Lyft’s acquisition of Motivate is another big move by a ride-hailing company toward the goal of “mobility as a service.” Lyft reportedly picked up Motivate for $250 million while Uber reportedly spent $200 million on Jump. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has invested directly in LimeBike, hopping on a $300 million funding round as the company sees success with scooter-sharing. All signs point to little vehicles as the way of the future, indeed.
Lyft’s announcement nods to how the deal could work out for cities; taking over all those contracts with city halls should further reign in the notion that the ride-hailing company is a rogue operator.
“Bringing together Lyft and Motivate will accelerate our collaboration with cities and deliver even better experiences to our passengers and riders,” said John Zimmer, Lyft’s co-founder and president, in the company’s announcement. As ride-hailing runs up against the limits of road congestion (maybe even contributing to its increase), transportation watchers are waiting to see what happens now that both of the two major ride-hailing companies have skin in the bikesharing game.
Click here to read the full article: https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/07/lyft-buys-motivate-bikesharing-systems/564347/