Jul 3, 2018

Go deeper: A look at Lyft's big bike-sharing buy

Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Lyft finally confirmed Monday that it’s getting in the bike-sharing business by acquiring Motivate, the company behind Ford GoBike in San Francisco and Citi Bike in New York. Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva has a look at the deal, which sources tell Axios came with a $250 million price tag.

The bottom line: Once again, Uber and Lyft are going head-to-head, this time with bikes (Uber acquired dockless bike-sharing company Jump in April).

  • But unlike with ride-hailing, where Uber has always held a big lead, this market's shape is less settled. There are heavy regulations and caps on bikes, and the vehicles are owned and maintained by the companies.

What Lyft bought: Motivate’s team, assets, and contracts with cities, which means Lyft now owns a large chunk of the bike-share market in the U.S.

  • What it didn’t buy is Motivate’s maintenance and servicing business, which will continue to operate on its own. This part of Motivate’s business employs unionized workers, likely something Lyft didn’t want to oversee.

Bear in mind: Many, if not all, of Motivate’s contracts with cities include clauses that allow the city to terminate the contract under conditions like a change in control — such as Lyft acquiring Motivate. It’s unclear whether Lyft got the cities’ blessings before going forward with the deal.

  • Sponsorships, like Ford in San Francisco and Citibank in New York, are also making this acquisition interesting.
  • Lyft says the sponsorships remain in place, which is not surprising as they bring in about half of Motivate’s revenue, according to a source familiar with the bike-sharing company.
  • But this also means that Lyft won’t have its own brand all over the bike services, which may or may not bother the company.

Go deeper

Cuomo says New York is "literally going day-to-day with our supplies"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Sunday that New York is struggling to maintain medical supplies while combatting the novel coronavirus — operating "literally" on a "day-to-day" basis.

Why it matters: New York City has become an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, facing mass quarantines and stay-at-home orders. Cuomo said Saturday that New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,225,360 — Total deaths: 66,542 — Total recoveries: 252,615Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 312,249 — Total deaths: 8,503 — Total recoveries: 15,021Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August." Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: The Louisiana governor warned that his state is set to run out of ventilators in four days. Illinois governor claims Trump doesn't understand the word "federal."
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Work update: Employees still going to work are often facing temperature checks, distanced work stations, protective devices and mass absences.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Illinois governor: "The president does not understand the word 'federal'"

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's comments about the federal government's stockpile of medical equipment suggest he "does not understand the word 'federal.'"

Why it matters: White House adviser Jared Kushner argued at a press briefing last week that the "notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use."