In light of Lyft filing a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco regarding dockless bikes, the city is holding off on its permitting process for additional dockless bike providers — at least until later this week. Although Uber-owned JUMP’s pilot was set to expire today, it is now extended until 10 days after the court’s order, SFMTA spokesperson Benjamin Barnett told TechCrunch.
In June, Lyft sued the city, claiming San Francisco was in violation of its 10-year contract with Lyft that would give the company exclusive rights to operate bike-share programs. The lawsuit was in light of SF announcing it would take applications for operators seeking permits to deploy additional stationless bikes.
San Francisco, however, said the contract does not apply to dockless bike-share, but only station-based bike-share. In its lawsuit, Lyft is seeking a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order to prevent the city from issuing permits to operators for stationless bike-share rentals.
“We opened up the stationless e-bikes permit process, but legal action by Lyft/Motivate has put that process on the hold,” Barnett said.
The court order could happen as early as July 11 and as late as October 11, Barnett said. Additionally, the SFMTA is not able to issue permits until at least five days after the order.
I’ve reached out to Lyft and will update this story if I hear back. Lyft previously told TechCrunch it did try to avoid litigation, but that the SFMTA refused to participate in its dispute process.
“We are eager to continue investing in the regional bikeshare system with the MTC and San Francisco,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch back in June. “We need San Francisco to honor its contractual commitments to this regional program — not change the rules in the middle of the game. We are eager to quickly resolve this, so that we can deliver on our plans to bring bikes to every neighborhood in San Francisco.”