With its announcement of Lyft Bikes and Scooters, San Francisco-based Lyft took another step to position itself as a force in multi-modal urban transportation and mobility. This announcement follows Lyft’s recent acquisition of Motivate, the largest U.S. bike-share operator.
According to Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer, adding bicycles and scooters to the company’s platform will accelerate the demise of individual car ownership which, in his view, is a good thing. Zimmer and Lyft co-founder Logan Green characterize private vehicle use as a failed transportation model, especially for cities. “Just last year, 250,000 Lyft passengers gave up their cars,” Zimmer noted as a significant win.
In Lyft’s new initiative, Zimmer outlined four key tenets guiding the introduction of bikes and scooters: transportation equity, safer streets, transit integration, and environmental sustainability.
To promote greater transportation access and equity, Lyft will invest $1 million to support bike and scooter programs, partnering with local nonprofits and community groups such as TransForm. Part of the plan involves developing income eligible programs along with outreach efforts to get news of the programs to those who need it most.
Lyft will also work with groups like Together for Safer Roads to promote bicycle rider safety. Lyft is partnering with city mayors and other individuals and organizations working to expand protected bike lanes, reduce speeding, and curb preventable traffic violence in the Vision Zero endeavor.
Focused on first-mile and last-mile mobility, Lyft believes that most bike and scooter trips will start or end at transit stops. Integrating all transportation modes including local transit stops and rideshare pickup locations into the Lyft app will simplify mobility access for all.
The ridesharing company also announced a carbon neutral initiative to seek ways to offset emissions from Lyft rides, underscoring its statements about reducing transportation’s environmental impact.
Lyft’s co-founders point out that the bike and scooters addition to its transportation platform will benefit the growing Lyft Relief Rides program developed in partnership with United Way and 2-1-1, a free, confidential referral helpline that connects people with essential services. Lyft launched Relief Rides in June with a $1.5 million fund to provide free rides to people in need.