Report: Lyft agrees to buy Motivate in big bikeshare deal
The Lyft vs. Uber rivalry may soon extend to two-wheeled vehicles.
Sean HollisterSenior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
You've probably never heard of Motivate, but perhaps you've seen these handy Ford GoBike or Citi Bike bicycle docks around your neighborhood? Soon, ride-hailing company Lyft may own these and a handful of Motivate's other docking bicycle networks -- helping it challenge Uber and a whole bunch of upstart electric scooter companies when it comes to urban transportation.
The Information reports that Lyft has agreed to purchase Motivate for as much as $250 million, though a deal reportedly hasn't been finalized yet. Beyond Ford GoBike and Citi Bike, other Motivate-operated bike brands include Capital BikeShare, CoGo, Divvy, Blue Bikes and Biketown.
Lyft declined to comment to CNET. Motivate didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Watch this: There's a scooter war in San Francisco
Lyft's rival Uber bought the dockless electric bike startup Jump last April, whose bikes can lock to any bike rack or pole. While Motivate's vehicles are primarily powered by human muscles and generally have to be docked to specific locations, the company's experimenting with pedal-assist electric vehicles and dockless bikes as well. As of March, Motivate told CNET it operated 31,841 bikes across the United States.
According to research firm Apptopia, the company's bikeshare apps are currently quite a bit more popular than Uber's Jump, with nearly twice as many people using the Citi Bike app as the Jump app on a daily basis. If you add Motivate's other brands, Apptopia says the company averages 150,000 daily active users.