Ridesharing

Lyft eBikes Return To SF After Battery Fire Investigation

Lyft is bringing its electric bikes back to San Francisco after the company had to stop the service due to several battery fires.

The ridesharing company pulled the eBikes off the road in San Francisco — as well as San Jose and Oakland — in July after several reported battery fires. This followed reports that several riders in New York and Washington, D.C. were injured due to a brakes malfunction, with those bikes now off the road and no word on when they will return.

As for the battery fires, Lyft said it found the cause. After switching suppliers, Lyft is now in the process of testing out the new batteries, and reassembling its eBikes for their return to San Francisco “in the coming weeks and months.”

The announcement comes after Lyft filed a lawsuit in June against San Francisco, accusing the city of violating a contract with the company. Lyft contended that it has exclusive rights to run a bikesharing program in the city, based on the contract. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), however, argued that it has the right to sign partnerships with vendors that are dockless or stationless, and that Lyft’s contract only gives exclusive rights to docked bikes.

Last week, though, the company agreed on a four-year deal with the SFMTA that will allow Lyft to operate a “hybrid” model of bikesharing around the city, rolling out 4,000 eBikes in December, with more expected by April 2020. The new eBikes will work as “hybrids” that can be both docked at stations, and locked to bike racks.

“Access to bikeshare and a sustainable transportation network is a priority for the city now more than ever,” said Tom Maguire, interim director of transportation, in a press release. “We’re optimistic that this new agreement with Lyft will restore and soon expand the mobility options available.”

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