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Lyft acquires Capital Bikeshare operator Motivate

Lyft confirmed the acquisition on Monday, giving it a foothold in bikeshare across multiple cities.

A Capital Bikeshare station. (Photo by Flickr user Tony Webster, used under a Creative Commons license)

Lyft is officially moving into bikeshare.

The company known for ridesharing announced the acquisition of Motivate, which operates Capital Bikeshare and services in multiple other cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Motivate’s name isn’t on many of the systems it operates, but the company said it provided 80 percent of bikeshare trips across the country in 2017.

“Introducing Lyft Bikes,” an announcement issued Monday by the company states.

Word of the deal first surfaced in a report last month from The Information. Terms were not disclosed.

“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,” Lyft cofounder and president John Zimmer said in a statement. “Bringing together Lyft and Motivate will accelerate our collaboration with cities and deliver even better experiences to our passengers and riders.”

With the deal, Lyft will acquire Motivate’s tech, city contracts and corporate functions. Motivate’s operations including bike maintenance and servicing will remain a standalone business. While Motivate has been a big player in bikeshares with fixed stations, Lyft said it plans to begin offering dockless bikeshare and pedal-assist bikes in cities where it operates.

That could mean Capital Bikeshare becomes another entrant into the dockless bikeshare program that D.C. has been piloting over the last year.

It also moves Lyft and ridesharing rival Uber into competition by way of bikeshare acqusitions. Uber acquired dockless bikeshare company JUMP, which launched in D.C. as part of the pilot, earlier this year.

Companies: Lyft / Capital Bikeshare
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