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Lyft Buys Citi Bike

Dashed Arrow mbaron85 / Flickr

One of the largest ride-hailing companies in America now owns the largest bike share company in America. Lyft announced yesterday that they purchased Motivate, the company that owns and operates Citi Bike, as well as the bike shares in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and D.C.

A representative for the company said there will be no changes to the way customers access bikes in the immediate future, but that Lyft will begin integrating bikes into their app once the deal closes. The rep said it was safe to assume that surge pricing will not be incorporated into Citi Bike's model.

According to a blog post on Lyft's site, the company acquired Motivate's technology, corporate structure, and city contracts; Motivate's bike maintenance operations will retain its name. Citi Bike will also remain Citi Bike. Bloomberg pegs the sale at somewhere around $250 million.

Lyft has also hired former Transportation Alternatives deputy director Caroline Samponaro to oversee the company's foray into bikeshare.

Like Uber, Lyft is not profitable, but it was just valued at $15 billion. In May, a Citi Bike spokesperson told Gothamist that the company "is a sustainable system that we’ve been able to make work without any public funding.”

Citi Bike, which now has 143,000 annual members, just announced that they will be adding a total of 2,500 docks and 1,250 bikes on both sides of the Williamsburg Bridge to absorb the commuting shock of the L train shutdown, and some of those bikes will be pedal-assisted e-bikes.

A spokesman for TWU Local 100, which represents Citi Bike's workers, did not respond to a request for comment on the sale.

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