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‘Walled Gardens’ vs. Open Mobility: The Battle Begins
In New York City, conflict has erupted between private ride-hailing services and neutral third-party mobility platforms battling for bikeshare access. Companies like Lyft and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) providers such as Transit both want to remove the friction of switching in between modes for commuters, however the ride-sharing companies want to build brand loyalty while third-party MaaS platforms want to offer access to all mobility options available.
Lyft acquired a company that owns and operates New York City’s bikeshare program Citi Bike, and has begun allowing users to unlock and ride bikes from within the Lyft app.
Lyft began blocking the MaaS platform Transit from offering Citi Bike access within their app, so users of the bikeshare program must unlock a bike through the Citi Bike or Lyft apps.
“If cities are serious about reducing car trips and making multimodal travel as easy as possible, they’ll want to remove the “friction” that frustrates those jumping between apps to find and book a trip.”
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