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Lyft wants a piece of bike sharing, just like Uber

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Citi Bike is Motivate's biggest bike-share service.
Citi Bike is Motivate’s biggest bike-share service.

Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The company behind some major bike-share programs in cities like San Francisco, New York, and Chicago is reportedly close to an acquisition from ride-hailing app Lyft.

A report in The Information Friday says Lyft is closing in on a $250-million deal to buy Motivate, the bike-sharing company that runs Ford GoBike in San Francisco and Citi Bike in New York. They are also in Boston, Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Wasington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. According to “two people briefed about the deal” the purchase isn’t finalized but both companies have agreed to terms.

A Lyft spokesperson declined to comment. We haven’t heard back yet from Motivate about the acquisition. 

Back in April, Lyft’s main competitor for its core business, Uber, acquired bike-share company Jump. That deal for the electric-assist bicycles in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., was reportedly around $200 million. 

App analytics firm Apptopia looked at app usage of the different bike-share programs that Motivate operates. Compared to Jump’s roughly 10,000 daily active users, Motivate bike apps have an average of 150,000 daily active users across its many platforms. Access to Jump bikes is also available through the Uber app as Uber Bike.

Within the Motivate suite of apps Jump is the second-most used following Citi Bike, which is the only bike-share program allowed to operate in New York City. In San Francisco Jump only has 250 bicycles because of an ongoing deal between the city and Ford GoBike, which operates throughout the Bay Area. 

How all the bike-share apps stack up.

How all the bike-share apps stack up.

In the past six months Motivate apps have been downloaded 360,000 times. Earlier this year Ford GoBike came out with Motivate’s first electric-assist bicycle, similar to Jump’s sole product. 

Lyft was also potentially looking into motorized scooters — either acquiring a company that offers the e-scooters or building out their own program, it’s unclear and the company has declined to comment. Motivate doesn’t have any scooter-share programs — yet. 

The ride-hailing company really wants in on all the two-wheeled ways to get around.

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