An artwork installation of bicycles by the side of the road

Erean - Morguefile

How Will Bike-Sharing Change Cities?

July 11, 2018

With ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber entrenched in cities and changing how their residents move about, a move into bicycle sharing may bring their users even more flexibility.

Lyft paid a reported $250 million earlier this month for Motivate, which operates bike-sharing programs across the country under a variety of names, such as Citi Bike in New York and Divvy in Chicago.

With some 35 percent of vehicle trips involving travel of two miles or less, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Lyft's acquisition will help residents bypass increasingly congested streets, says Curbed writer Patrick Sisson. "Lyft is betting that by bundling options, and perhaps creating a big subscription model, it can be a one-tap transport solution," Sisson explains.

"By adding a network of physical locations that could function as stations and stops, as well as emission-free transit options, the ride-hailing company has just added more tools to its toolbox," he adds.

With millennials’ concern for big-picture issues such as sustainability and the environment along with the need to manage their budgets, Lyft's move may appeal to residents who appreciate the app's flexible one-stop shopping.