The company’s Lilly Shoup told Bloomberg this was about fulfilling Lyft’s goal of offering the “world’s best transportation,” but it’s ultimately about keeping users within its ecosystem. If you only need one app for every aspect of your commute, you’re less like to drift to competitors. Uber has public transportation options in its app, and there’s a real possibility that a customer who switches to Uber for mass transit directions could be lost for good.
It’s certainly odd timing for Lyft. Although it does own Citi Bike, the company has lately been at odds with NYC over a myriad of issues, including the minimum wage for drivers and the ride-hailing vehicle cap. This shows that Lyft is still highly dependent on the city and determined to win over its residents, even if officials are concerned about its potential harm.