Lyft has announced the integration of Citi Bike into its smartphone app. It will now offer Citi Bikes through its app to users, allowing them to rent a bike in a similar way as renting a car. This move comes after the transportation company has previously announced the beta-testing of Citi Bike in the app for almost 20 percent of users. This is not the first instance that the company is offering bikes to users. Currently, users in three cities, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica can use the Lyft app to rent bikes or scooters along with public transit directions. Citi Bike does not get subsidies from the city, although it does maintain exclusive rights to run bike-sharing in its service area, along with rivals Lime and Jump.
Both these companies belong to a city-run dockless bike-share pilot feature in outer areas, for instance, Lime in Staten Island, and the Rockaway section of Queens, as well as Jump in the Bronx and Staten Island. Citi Bike is currently running the pilot operating dockless bikes in the Bronx. However, Lime and Uber have both criticized the city for inking an exclusive contract with Citi Bike that will restrict the options of the bike-riding public. The integration of Citi Bike points to the possibility that Lyft might do the same with Motivate’s other bike-share features, including Ford Go Bike in San Francisco and Divvy Bike in Chicago. Lyft had announced the acquisition of Motivate, the biggest bike-share company in the US, last year to include Citi Bike in New York City.
Lyft is competing against Uber to become the leading multimodal transportation service. The acquisition of Motivate had come at the heels of Uber’s purchase of Jump, the dockless bike-share startup. Jump’s bikes are available to rent via both Uber or Jump’s smartphone apps. Both companies are trying to provide all types of the available modern mode of transportation, including cars, bikes, scooter, among others. Citi Bike still demands a five-digit code to unlock the bike.