Lyft follows Uber's steps, enters bike-sharing business with Motivate deal

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated sign appears in a Lyft ride-hailing car in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

(Reuters) - Lyft Inc said on Monday it would buy bike-share operator Motivate as the ride-hailing company tries to fend off competition arising from rival Uber Technologies Inc’s [UBER.UL] purchase of electric cycle-sharing startup JUMP Bikes in April.

Lyft declined to comment on the deal value, but according to media reports the company would pay around $250 million for the parent of Ford GoBike and Citi Bike.

The deal also signals a shift for Lyft toward a wider set of transportation options in urban centers.

Lyft said New York City-based Motivate’s bike maintenance and servicing operations will remain a standalone business, retaining the brand name, and will continue to support bike-share systems across North America.

Lyft operates in roughly the same number of U.S. cities as Uber, as well as in Toronto, Canada. Uber operates across the globe, although it has retreated from Southeast Asia, Russia and China after losing billions of dollars competing with local rivals.

Last week Lyft said it raised $600 million in a new funding round led by Fidelity Management, doubling the company’s valuation to $15.1 billion in little over a year.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur