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After Uber’s protest, Lyft moves closer to exclusive Divvy expansion deal

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A City Council committee approved the deal

Even with Uber’s campaign of misinformation, the City Council committee approved Lyft’s exclusive deal to expand the Divvy bike-share service on Monday.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot wasn’t fully on board with the contract that was set by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper reported she said the deal was, “precisely the style of governance that we have to move away from.”

Since the contract was proposed in mid-March, Uber has been critical of the deal and lobbied against any exclusivity. In response, the Chicago Department of Transporation (CDOT) released a “myths vs. facts” sheet to combat Uber’s talking points.

For instance, Uber claims that they offered a $450 million dollar investment that had a faster timeline. However, the city clarifies by saying, “A majority of the money [Uber] did propose represents their own costs to purchase and operate equipment they would own,” and in the current deal the city would be able to “maintain control and roll out the bikes in an orderly fashion.”

Here are the details: Lyft will invest $50 million into the bikes and stations in exchange for exclusive sponsorship and operation. The company would have to modernize the program by 2021 which means bringing Divvy to every ward and adding 10,500 bikes and 175 stations. The city would maintain ownership and set pricing, but Lyft would be responsible for operating Divvy. Lyft owns Motivate, Divvy’s operator, and purchased it last year.

Any extension beyond Divvy’s nine-year contract would need City Council approval. Lyft has also agreed to absorb some financial risk of Divvy’s performance, so the city isn’t sharing as much in operational losses as before.

Now that the contract is approved, it’s time to officially say goodbye to those Uber Jump bikes and Lime bikes the city piloted in 2018.