- Lyft announced it will invest $270,000 to sponsor "transportation hubs" at five Baltimore Bike Share locations across the city, including the Baltimore Visitor Center and National Aquarium.
- The hubs, which will be branded with Lyft's signature pink color, will serve as both bike-share stations and pick-up/drop-off locations for Lyft.
- Mayor Catherine Pugh said the first-of-its-kind partnership, supported by the Baltimore Department of Transportation, underscores the city's mission to "support more accessible, convenient and reliable transportation systems across the city," according to The Baltimore Sun.
Lyft's Baltimore market manager Mike Heslin explained to the Sun that a partnership had been in the works for a long time, as Lyft explored a number of ways to improve the city's bike-share service. The Baltimore Bike Share program, which launched in October 2016 with $2.36 million in funding from state and federal grants, brought 200 bikes and 20 stations to the city, yet potential expansion had been halted due to mistreatment of the bikes — including theft.
By adding a branded, private sector-supported system to the city, Baltimore will have the opportunity to reclaim its bike-share service and better monitor the usage of the bikes across the city. Additionally, the establishment of designated passenger loading zones will help to alleviate congestion on busy roads and tourist-heavy locations, such as the National Aquarium, and promote increased safety and visibility for ride-share.
Lyft is not the first ride-share service to get involved in bike-share opportunities. Earlier this month, Uber partnered with Jump to launch a bike-share pilot, driven by the Uber app, in San Francisco. Around that time, Andrew Salzberg, Uber's head of transportation policy and research, touted the opportunities that ride-share services have to partner "with other companies and other actors in the space to help reduce the need for people to own and operate their own personal vehicles" — a trend that Lyft is echoing through this public-private partnership in Baltimore.