Bike lanes are coming to Lyft’s app. The ride-hailing company is adding protected bike lanes and bike-friendly routes to its app to help customers feel more confident shifting to two-wheeled transportation.
Protected bike lanes will appear as dark green lines in the app, while less-protected but still bike-friendly routes will appear as dotted green lines. The new feature will start rolling out on iOS today, and Android will follow soon. But they will be available only in markets where Lyft operates bike- and scooter-sharing services.
“We believe that providing clear information about bike lanes in our app will encourage more people to choose two-wheeled transportation for their trip,” Caroline Samponaro, head of micromobility policy for Lyft, said in a statement. “Each ride on a bike or scooter represents a win for the environment, congestion, and a more livable city — and that’s what Lyft is all about.”
In July 2018, Lyft announced that it was buying Motivate, the largest bike-share operator in the US, which includes Citi Bike in New York City and Bay Wheels (formerly Ford Go Bikes) in San Francisco. At the time, it was seen as a major move by the ride-hailing company to expand beyond cars. Citi Bike, in particular, continues to be a major bright spot for bike-sharing in the US: over 19 million Citi Bike rides were taken between July 1st, 2018, and June 30th, 2019, up from 17 million rides taken in the same period last year, for an 11 percent increase.
Since then, Lyft has been consolidating its bike and scooter business into its main ride-hailing app. It added Citi Bike rentals in May, and it’s been expanding its scooter service as well as introducing a new Segway-produced model.
It hasn’t been all smooth riding, though. Earlier this year, Lyft grounded thousands of its electric bikes across the country because of problems with the braking systems. Several riders reported being injured due to the faulty brakes. Also, Lyft sued the city of San Francisco claiming that the city is trying to allow other bike-share providers (like archrival Uber) to come in violation of its exclusive deal.