Going out today? Uber, Lyft want to know

Would you like to have a single app that could give you whatever you need to get you to wherever you want to go?
4 July 2018

From cabs to bikes, Uber and Lyft have you covered. Source: Shutterstock

In today’s day and age, there is value in holding on to your customer, in catering to their needs, and in developing fans who will advocate your brand to others.

This strategy also allows businesses to better understand their customers because of the breadth of data they’re able to collect from their customers.

It’s why Lyft and Uber are moving into bike-sharing programs in the US, adding cycles to their fleets of cabs serving customers whenever they step out of the house.

Earlier this week, Lyft struck a deal to acquire a part of Motivate, the parent company of the CitiBike program in New York, Ford’s GoBike program in San Francisco, and six other bike-sharing programs around the United States.

The deal was signed at US$250 million, according to sources.

According to Lyft, Motivate accounts for about 80 percent of all bike-sharing trips in America, also operates networks in Chicago; Boston; Washington, DC; Portland, Oregon; Columbus; and Minneapolis.

In April, Uber bought JUMP, a dockless electric bike-sharing company that operated in Washington, DC and San Francisco.

The next month, it expanded JUMP’s base and launched it in other cities in the US.

Last month, Uber decided to take JUMP to Europe to compete with existing bike-sharing programs such as Obike, Limebike, and Ofo.

According to media reports, Berlin alone has over 18,000 shared bikes from eight different companies. But Uber is far from discouraged.

But Uber realizes the customers don’t always take a cab or ride a bike to their destination. They might also choose to take the bus or train.

Hence, Uber tied up with Masabi in April. Integration will enable Uber users to book and display public transit tickets within the app, facilitating seamless multimodal journeys.

“Having a greater variety of transportation modes at your fingertips helps make it increasingly easy to live without a car. That’s why we want to provide alternatives to personal car ownership by bringing together multiple modes of transportation right in our app,” Uber’s Head of Product, Mobility Jahan Khanna said when the tie-up was announced.

The fact is, Uber and Lyft seem to be aspiring to build an end-to-end platform that takes care of a user’s ‘mobility’ needs, whatever they might be.

The one who can build it first will probably have an advantage so long as they keep service levels high and ensure top-notch support.