From ridehailing to MaaS
Lyft announced last week the integration of New York’s Citi Bike service into the ridehailing app. Yet, it is not the only ridehailing app expanding its core to Mobility as a Service.
By integrating Citi Bike in the Lyft application, Lyft riders can compare various mobility modes and pick the one that best matches their needs in current traffic conditions. The app will also allow riders to pay for the bike rides.
Although its core business is ridehailing, Lyft’s announcement to integrate New York’s Citi Bike Service into its app should not come as a surprise. Lyft has been putting efforts in moving its riders away from cars only by offering various shared micromobility options. In addition, Lyft already announced in 2018 it would inest $100 million in Citi Bike in order to double the size of the service area and triple the number of bikes.
Uber’s jump to multimodal
We have seen a similar move with Uber, which acquired bikesharing company Jump a while ago, and opened up its app in some cities to public transit. As such the Uber app becomes more than a ridehailing app, but a multimodal app in which ridehailing can just be the first and last mile part of the entire journey.
Ditching the car
In addition, Lyft’s choice of launching this kind of service in New York City can probably be seen in the context of the congestion pricing plan. After having been on the table for a while, NYC now seems to have decided to bring congestion pricing into effect as from 2021. In such a case having their customers on a bike rather than in a car, might not only be environmentally beneficial, but economically as well.
With other cities discussing congestion pricing systems, it won't surprise us if ridehailing companies will implement other than car driven mobility services, and moving into the Mobility as a Service space.