Lyft pulls an Uber and acquires Motivate, a bike-sharing company

Citi Bike is a Motivate-operated bike-share program and now part of Lyft.

Image: Richard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Lyft says its new bike-share program will revolutionize urban transportation. The only problem? Uber kind of beat them to that particular revolution.

In a Monday blog post, Lyft announced it had reached an agreement to acquire Motivate, a bike-sharing company that operates the Citi Bike program in New York and Ford GoBike in San Francisco. 

“We’re excited to invest in bike-share to continue building the world’s best transportation for the future of our cities,” Lyft tweeted.

As part of the deal, Lyft will now own Motivate’s technology, including its apps, bike-tracking services, customer support, and bicycle maintenance systems. When Motivate’s bicycles will become available on the app to Lyft customers was not immediately clear. 

Though neither Lyft nor Motivate shared the financial terms of the acquisition, the Information reported in May that Motivate was valued at $250 million, and that the deal was around that price. According to the New York Times, Motivate would soon be renamed Lyft Bikes. 

If Lyft’s decision to acquire Motivate sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because it’s a very similar move to one made months ago by its biggest rival. In April, Uber acquired Jump, a dockless electric bike-sharing company, for an undisclosed sum. Lyft also lags behind Uber in valuation, clocking in at $15.1 billion against Uber’s $72 billion. 

But a rematch could be underway: Both Uber and Lyft have thrown their hats into the ring to battle for a limited number of permits to operate electric scooters in San Francisco. It’s unclear whether both, one, or none will emerge victorious.

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