The news follows a report from last month that Lyft was interested in acquiring a permit to operate scooters in San Francisco. Mobility companies, which include car manufacturers like GM and Ford and ride hail companies like Uber, Lyft, are clamoring for new transit options to offer consumers. Bikes and scooters are the latest craze. In March, Chinese bike share Ofo raised $866 million and is currently valued at $2 billion. A month later, Chinese company Meituan Dianping picked up bikes share Mobike for $2.7 billion. Meanwhile, Uber bought Jump Bike.
Motivate is one of the best known U.S. bike-share companies, running programs on behalf of Ford and Citibank. But it faces tough competition from a wave of new “dock-less” bikes—bikes that can be picked up and locked up anywhere. Motivate is a docked bike system, meaning that users have to return the bikes to one of several hubs where the bikes are kept. If Lyft does acquire Motivate, expect it to be just the beginning of a deeper foray into transit beyond cars. Lyft declined to comment on the possible acquisition.