Lyft the ride-hailing company has just acquired Motivate, the company behind New York’s Citibike and Chicago’s Divvy. This goes to show that amidst companies pulling out of markets such as Singapore where only 5 out of 8 are remaining, companies such as Lyft sees some future.
Of course, not all bike sharing companies are equal. There is the debate of dockless bikes versus bike sharing with docking stations. Dockless bikes are those you see strewn all over the streets and in weird places where compared to bikes that require a docking station are normally well kept. Both offer their pros and cons and both have a place in this market but when regulators start knocking, only the strong survive.
Lyft’s motive for acquiring Motivate is to make well on their pledge to reduce their carbon footprint as part of a better and sustainable world. Their aim is to innovate more in this space especially for dockless and using pedal-assist electric bikes.
“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.”
As part of this agreement, Lyft is acquiring Motivate’s technology and corporate functions, including its city contracts. Motivate’s bike maintenance and servicing operations will remain a standalone business, retaining the Motivate name, and will continue to support bike share systems across North America.
Motivate operates many of the largest bikeshare systems in North America, including Citi Bike (New York), Ford GoBike (San Francisco Bay area), Divvy (Chicago), Blue Bikes (Boston metro area), Capital Bikeshare (Washington, D.C. metro area), BIKETOWN (Portland metro area), CoGo (Columbus, Ohio), and Nice Ride (Minneapolis). In 2017, 80 percent of the bikeshare trips in the United States were on Motivate-operated systems. The demand for bikeshare and the potential to serve even more Americans with this powerful urban transportation option are clear.
“How we get around cities is changing rapidly, and the combination of Lyft and Motivate will bring tremendous new resources and energy to making sure that bikeshare plays a fundamental role in the new urban mobility,” said Motivate Executive Chairman Steve Koch. “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.”