By: Brenda Torres
Lyft and Uber are helping Chicago reach its goal of becoming the best city for cycling. Lyft, the on-demand transportation service, has bought Motivate, one of the largest bike-share companies that operates Divvy in Chicago. “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, per Lyft’s blog.
Motivate is one of the largest bike sharing companies in North America. Lyft and Motivate will be working to improve transportation in cities and to further Motivate’s mission “to get more people to ride bikes,” according to Motivate’s press release. The collaboration of the two companies comes from Lyft wanting to expand its reach in the transportation space. Lyft has recently introduced, Lyft Line, which is allowing people to share rides with strangers, just like splitting a cab.
Lyft will be inheriting Motivate’s technology, corporate functions, and city contracts. However, Motivate’s maintenance and servicing operations will remain a separate business and keep its name as well.
Motivate’s Executive Chairman, Steve Koch, is also excited about the collaboration saying, “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.”
Uber, Lyft’s competing transportation network, is collaborating with JUMP Bikes, a dockeless bike-share company. “Today I’m excited to announce we’ve entered into an agreement to acquire JUMP Bikes, an electric, dockless bike-sharing service we’ve already been testing in San Francisco. Our hometown pilot is off to a very strong start, with riders enjoying a convenient and environmentally friendly way to cruise up and down our trademark hills,” said Chief Executive Officer of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi.
JUMP Bikes is one of three bike-sharing companies that are serving the South side of Chicago, in areas that Divvy does not reach. “This partnership is a great way to get a much larger audience on bikes and help them understand their transportation options,” said JUMP Bikes CEO, Ryan Rzepecki, as reported by Tech Crunch. JUMP Bike operates in over 40 cities in the country.
Even though Divvy did not reach the South side of Chicago it seems like Lyft might expand bike-sharing to other neighborhoods. “Transportation equity and inclusion are top priorities for Lyft as we enter the bike-share space, and we plan to dedicate even more resources to make sure that our bike-share programs are accessible regardless of riders’ income, especially in neighborhoods with limited access to public transportation,” according to Lyft’s Blog.