- After months of speculation, ride-hailing app Lyft announced Monday it has acquired bike-share company Motivate.
- Motivate has bike-share contracts in some of the biggest cities in the United States, and is hot on the heels of Lyft announcing its Green Cities Initiative to encourage a more sustainable world.
- “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. “Bringing together Lyft and Motivate will accelerate our collaboration with cities and deliver even better experiences to our passengers and riders.”
Speculation has been rife for months about which ride-hailing app would buy Motivate, with Uber also reportedly in the frame for an acquisition. Lyft's foray into the bike-share space comes less than a month after it revamped its app to integrate with public transportation and as it appears to be eyeing operating electric scooters in San Francisco. And the acquisition arguably puts it ahead of Uber, its great competitor, which acquired dockless bike-share company Jump earlier this year as part of a slew of new partnerships in cities.
It represents a major opportunity for Lyft as it acquires all Motivate's bike-share contracts, which include the likes of Citi Bike in New York City, Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC, Divvy in Chicago and Ford GoBikes in San Francisco. Significantly, Motivate will retain its name, maintenance and servicing operations, meaning it will continue to be the major supporter of those bike-share systems, which the companies said made up 80% of all bike-share trips in 2017.
This merger, which media reports have previously suggested is worth around $250 million, should also ensure that the competition between docked and dockless bike-share companies remains fierce. And with the backing of a major ride-hailing app, Motivate can help ensure it stays strong in the bike-sharing space even as more mobility options proliferate. “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.