Bike sharing in the Twin Cities is under new ownership with a bright-pink color scheme.
Lyft, the ride-hailing giant, bought the company that runs the popular on-demand bicycle rental program Nice Ride in a deal that closed Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Lyft’s acquisition of Motivate, which also runs several other large bike-sharing programs across the country, makes it the largest bike rental company in the United States.
The deal will allow users to rent the bikes in the Twin Cities and places such as New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Portland, Ore., and Columbus, Ohio, by using the Lyft app starting in 2019.
By then, some docked and dockless bikes may sport a different hue.
Lyft on Thursday said it will launch its own brand of bicycles with pink wheels, the company’s signature color. It was not clear when the Lyft-branded bikes would come to the Twin Cities.
“While we can’t confirm exact timing for launch; we are excited to roll out the Lyft-branded bikes in the near future,” said Chapin Hansen, Lyft’s Twin Cities market manager.
Lyft had announced last summer that it had plans to buy Motivate, which took over operations of Nice Ride in July.
Lyft acquired Motivate’s technology and corporate functions. Motivate’s bike maintenance and servicing operations will remain a stand-alone business with the Motivate name and will continue to support bike-share systems across North America.
Nice Ride features more than 1,800 bright green bikes that users pick up at docking stations across the Twin Cities and pay a fee to use. This fall, it also introduced blue dockless bikes that users unlock by using a smartphone app.
Hansen said, “Bike-share users should not see a difference in service.”
San Francisco-based Lyft said it was natural to enter into the bike-sharing business with its vision of improving transportation access, sustainability and affordability. It said the acquisition will help the company reach its goals of taking 1 million cars off the road by the end of 2019.