New York City was designed to be walked along, not driven by. Narrow streets and picturesque neighborhoods make it the perfect metropolis for sightseeing on foot, not behind the wheel. For those who'd much rather cycle their way through the bustling city, though, there's Lyft.
The app is integrating Citi Bike as an option for some riders in New York. The company acquired bike-sharing startup Motivate back in July and then became a one-stop transportation app in three cities later that December. This time, it's doing the same in New York City.
Citi Bike Comes To Lyft
Starting early next month, Lyft customers in the city will be able to unlock Citi Bikes is the Lyft app. The company says it picked New York City as its fourth location because Citi Bike is one of the most popular bike-sharing systems, having logged more than 75 million rides from its 12,000 bike fleet.
"[T]he Citi Bike system is a key reason we chose to acquire Motivate and become North America's largest bikeshare operator," Lyft wrote in a blog post. "Making it easy for all Lyft users to access bikeshare will open up a world of possibilities and, we hope, get many more people riding Citi Bike."
For New Riders Only
Currently, riders are required to have a special Citi Bike account to access the vehicles, but with Lyft's new feature, that will no longer be necessary. There's one major downside, though: this new option will only available for new Citi Bikes riders. Existing ones may use it, though they won't be able to link their accounts to use the Lyft app to unlock bikes just yet. But Lyft says it will sort that out over the next few months.
To use a Citi Bike from within the Lyft app, simply open the app, choose the Bikes option, and pick one from the available bikes at the closest station. Then press the button to unlock a bike to get a five-digit code, which the user must then punch in on any dock at the station. That's basically it.
Lyft says it will be adding more cities beyond New York soon since "we think that more bike rides will mean better cities." It's also pledged to invest as much as $100 million into the Citi Bike system.