Lyft corners temporary bikeshare monopoly in San Francisco

Special By Emily Huston : sfexaminer – excerpt

Competitor Jump’s permit expires amid ongoing legal battle

Since 2018, San Francisco has granted two companies the right to operate bikeshare on its streets: Lyft’s Bay Wheels and Uber’s Jump Bikes.

But on May 26, bikeshare riders will be left with one rental app, as Jump’s permit expires and Bay Wheels becomes the only option in town.

In a court modification to an earlier injunction order, The City and Lyft agreed last week “in light of the COVID-19 viral pandemic” to extend Jump’s bikeshare permit to May 25. The April 27 court order came with an important stipulation, however: The City will no longer extend that permit in the future. With its sole bikeshare competitor off the streets, Lyft will control a de facto bikeshare monopoly in San Francisco…

Lyft will soon enjoy the ramifications of those early corporate partnerships, as Jump sunsets its service on May 18 and Bay Wheels remains the last operator left standing. Motivate’s grandfathered 10-year contract suggests Bay Wheel’s tenure in San Francisco could last until 2025. The tide of inertia from the judge’s preliminary injunction suggests the final October court decision will give Lyft the final say.

It’s likely the business of bikeshare won’t involve much sharing at all… (more)

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