United States

Lyft Enters the Bike-Sharing Business, Purchases CitiBike Parent Company

What to Know

  • Ride-hailing company Lyft is expanding its transportation services by acquiring Motivate, the largest bike-share operator in North America
  • On Monday, Lyft announced it was buying the core operations of Motivate, which owns CitiBike
  • Lyft's competitor, Uber, also entered the bike-sharing business in April when it purchased the company Jump

The ride-hailing company Lyft is expanding its transportation services by acquiring Motivate, the largest bike-share operator in North America.

On Monday, Lyft announced it was buying the core operations of Motivate — the parent company of multiple bike-sharing programs in the country, including CitiBike, which operates in New York City.

“Lyft and Motivate have both been committed for years to the same goal of reducing the need for personal car ownership by providing reliable and affordable ways to move around our cities,” said John Zimmer, Lyft co-founder and president, in a statement.

Lyft plans to rename the company Lyft Bikes and will maintain control of Motivate’s contracts in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, DC, Portland and Columbus, Ohio.

This acquisition forms part of Lyft’s Green Cities Initiative and comes on the heels of its recent carbon neutrality pledge.

As part of this agreement, Lyft will acquire Motivate’s technology and corporate functions. Lyft said that under the agreement, Motivate’s bike maintenance and servicing operations will remain a standalone business and will keep the Motivate name.

According to Lyft, in 2017, 80 percent of the bike-share trips in the United States were on Motivate-operated systems.

“Together, we believe that integrating our services in partnership with the public sector will transform the urban transportation landscape, increase bike ridership, and make our cities better,” Motivate Executive Chairman Steve Koch said in a statement.

While financial terms have yet to be disclosed, previous media reports suggest that Lyft would pay about $240 million for the acquisition.

Uber, another ride-sharing company and a popular competitor of Lyft, entered the bike-sharing industry in April when it bought Jump, which runs networks of electric bikes, for close to $200 million.

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