Lyft acquires Capital Bikeshare operator, unveils design for Lyft Bikes

Capital Bikeshare is the D.C. area's bike-sharing system but a DDOT official says there's room for competition. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Ride hailing company Lyft, which recently jumped into the dockless electric scooter business in D.C., has completed its planned acquisition of Motivate, the company that operates the city’s long-established public docked bike operator Capital Bikeshare. (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Lyft also unveiled a first look at its own Lyft Bikes, which it says it will launch in a handful of new cities across the country starting next year. (Courtesy Lyft)
Lyft also unveiled a first look at its own Lyft Bikes, which it says it will launch in a handful of new cities across the country starting next year. (Courtesy Lyft) (Courtesy Lyft)
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Capital Bikeshare is the D.C. area's bike-sharing system but a DDOT official says there's room for competition. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Lyft also unveiled a first look at its own Lyft Bikes, which it says it will launch in a handful of new cities across the country starting next year. (Courtesy Lyft)

WASHINGTON — Ride hailing company Lyft, which recently jumped into the dockless electric scooter business in D.C., has completed its planned acquisition of Motivate, the company that operates the city’s long-established public docked bike operator Capital Bikeshare.

The deal was first announced in July.

Lyft also unveiled a first look at its own Lyft Bikes, which it says it will launch in a handful of new cities across the country starting next year. It did not say if or when Lyft-branded bikes would come to Washington.

New York-based Motivate also runs docked public bike sharing networks Citi Bike in New York, Ford GoBike in San Francisco, Divvy in Chicago, BlueBikes in Boston, BIKETOWN in Portland, CoGo in Columbus, Ohio, and Nice Ride in Minneapolis.

In New York, in an agreement with the city’s Department of Transportation, Lyft will invest $100 million in the city’s Bikeshare system plans to triple the fleet of Citi Bike bikes over the next five years.

No immediate plans to expand Washington’s Capital Bikeshare were announced.

“With this acquisition, we are poised to help take Bikeshare to the next level: adding thousands of bikes and stations in communities that haven’t had access to transportation; making Bikeshare membership more convenient and affordable than ever; and deploying new electric bikes, on a major scale,” Lyft said in a statement.

As part of the acquisition, Lyft acquires Motivate’s technology and corporate functions. Motivate’s bike maintenance and servicing operations will remain a stand-alone business run by Motivate.

As for the Lyft-branded bikes, it is unclear if they will be docked or dockless. “Lyft Bikes is still in its early stages, so there are no specifics to share,” a spokesperson told WTOP.

Lyft says its goal with bikes and scooters is to take one million cars off the road by the end of 2019.

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