Transit is an app used by hundreds of New Yorkers each month as means of navigating between the subway, buses, commuter rail, and a few other services as well. It provides users with real-time travel time predictions, which allows for more convenient trip planning. Transit also allows for bike-share, car-sharing from car2go, and ride hailing options from Lyft, Uber, and Via so this way their users can combine all options to create one easy trip.
Back in April 2018, Transit partnered with Motivate, the owner of Citi Bike, and made a deal, which would offer single tickets ($3 for a 30-minute journey) and allow Transit users to unlock the bicycles through using a five-digit code produced in Transit. That deal allowed Transit to be the first app other than Citi Bike’s, where cyclists could unlock bikes.
Transit’s deal with Motivate eventually transferred to Lyft when Lyft obtained ownership of the company Motivate. Before obtaining Motivate, Lyft was in charge of operating Citi Bike and other bike sharing systems in Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco.
Recently, Transit has declared issue with the app Lyft for what they perceive to be the company’s attempt at taking over mobility, specifically because Lyft has decided to block Transit users from using the app to Citi-bikes.
Now, when customer try to unlock a Citi Bike using the Transit app, an error message appears informing prospective drivers that Lyft has decided to discontinue the function they’re trying to use.
Lyft, the company – which once described themselves the “one app to unlock your city” has come forward to admit that it has severed customers from using the Transit app to unlock Citi bikes. Yet, dispute Transit’s claims over a lack of data transparency.
Personally, I side with Transit on this issue as it does seem as though Lyft is attempting to kind of “takeover”, and force people to use their app. I find what they’re doing to be unfair because it makes things more complicated for Citi-Bike customers who used to use the Transit App to unlock Citi Bikes.