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U.S. Business Lyft follows Uber into bike-sharing business with deal to buy Motivate

A rider requests a car via the Lyft app outside her home in New York.

DAVE SANDERS/The New York Times News Service

Lyft Inc. said on Monday it would buy bike-share operator Motivate as the ride-hailing company tries to fend off competition arising from rival Uber Technologies Inc.’s purchase of electric cycle-sharing startup JUMP Bikes in April.

Lyft declined to comment on the deal value, but according to media reports, the company would pay around US$250-million for the parent of Ford GoBike and Citi Bike.

The deal also signals a shift for Lyft toward a wider set of transportation options in urban centres.

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Lyft said New York-based Motivate’s bike-maintenance and servicing operations will remain a stand-alone business, retaining the brand name, and will continue to support bike-share systems across North America.

Lyft operates in roughly the same number of U.S. cities as Uber, as well as in Toronto. Uber operates across the globe, although it has retreated from Southeast Asia, Russia and China after losing billions of dollars competing with local rivals.

Last week, Lyft said it raised US$600-million in a new funding round led by Fidelity Management, doubling the company’s valuation to US$15.1-billion in little over a year.

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