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Lyft adds protected bike lanes to its app for safer bikesharing rides

While millions of people are more than happy to jump onto a rentable bike to scoot across town, there are still many folks who are yet to embark on their first bikesharing ride because of concerns about road safety in some of the busier cities.

To help ease the fears of first-time riders, as well as to make rides more comfortable and less stressful for its existing users, Lyft is adding information for protected bike lanes and bike-friendly routes to its app.

The protected lanes will show as solid green lines on the map, while the bike-friendly routes, which are less protected but nevertheless still designated for two-wheelers, will show as dotted green lines.

“We believe that providing clear information about bike lanes in our app will encourage more people to choose two-wheeled transportation for their trip,” Caroline Samponaro, Lyft’s head of micromobility policy, told Digital Trends. “Each ride on a bike or scooter represents a win for the environment, congestion, and a more livable city — and that’s what Lyft is all about.”

Lyft has been steadily expanding its app-based bikesharing service in recent years, with its most significant move coming in July 2018 when it acquired Motivate, the largest bikesharing operator in the U.S.

Motivate oversees services such as CitiBike in New York City, Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., and Blue Bikes (formerly Hubway) in Boston. It also operates bikesharing services in Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Columbus, Ohio.

The new feature for users of Lyft’s bikesharing services should already be working for iPhone, with Android users expected to get it soon.

Take note, though, the data for bicycle routes will only show in locations where Lyft operates its bikesharing and scootersharing services.

Also, as you will have noticed, the emphasis here is on routes for bicycles, with little mention of scooters, which are also widely used for sharing in cities. This is because some places don’t allow bike lanes to be used by electric scooters, so always be sure to check ahead if you’re renting a scooter and would like to take one of Lyft’s suggested routes.

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Trevor Mogg
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