Rideshare company Lyft’s bid to run Los Angeles County’s bike share program was struck down Wednesday when transit officials said they’ll no longer review current proposals for the multi-million dollar contract set to expire this year.

Lyft Bikes and Scooters, LLC., the San Francisco-based company’s subsidiary, submitted a bid last June for the 11-year $132 million contract to operate the county bike share which had 441,000 rides in 2023. 

In January, an LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) committee stopped Lyft’s bid in its tracks when it voted to delay consideration of their proposal. The vote came after the county’s most prominent labor coalition and other members of the public flooded officials with comments expressing opposition to Lyft’s proposal. 

Lyft didn’t respond to a request for comment on Metro’s decision by the time of publication.

In a notice to bike share companies on Tuesday, Metro administrator James C. Giblin said the transit agency would restart the bidding process.

Members of both the California Gig Workers Union and Transportation Workers Union Local 320 rally outside Metro headquarters in Los Angeles on February 15, 2024. Martín Macías, Jr. / LA Public Press.

“[Metro] has decided to cancel the subject solicitation. Metro intends to revise the scope of services and issue a new competitive solicitation,” Giblin said. “Metro appreciates the interest you have shown in submitting a proposal and looks forward to your continued interest in future solicitations.”

Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero told LA Public Press the decision means Metro is no longer considering any current bids for the bike share contract.

“The bike share contract is currently in a procurement black out period,” Sotero said. “Metro cannot comment on the contract at this time.”

In its bid, Lyft said it would cut costs for bike sharing by 30%; increase the number of e-bikes for riders; expand advertising options; and spread the program to areas like Culver City, San Fernando, and Burbank. The company said it would also build new docking stations and develop a new app.

A host of organized labor groups, cyclists, and other organizations rose up in opposition, saying Lyft might not only drive down bike share ridership but also erode hard-won worker protections.

Yvonne Wheeler, president of the LA County Federation of Labor, said in a statement Metro’s decision is a victory for workers. The federation is composed of over 300 unions representing more than 800,000 workers in hotels, grocery stores, medical clinics, and other businesses. 

“It is critical that in Los Angeles workers not only have access to good union jobs, but also access to safe, reliable and sustainable public transportation like LA Bikeshare,” Wheeler said. “This decision by LA Metro is a victory not only for our workers with TWU Local 320, but for all working class Angelenos. Los Angeles is a union town.”

Wheeler previously wrote a letter to Metro urging the agency to reject the bid from Lyft, which she called a “car-centric, anti-union company that has made billions off the backs of exploiting workers.” Wheeler said the agency should renew its contract with Philadelphia-based Bicycle Transit Systems, the current operator of LA County’s bike share, which had submitted a bid to extend its contract.

A spokesperson for Bicycle Transit Systems didn’t respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. The company’s contract with Metro, originally set to expire June 30, will now end on August 30 following an extension agreement.

Transportation Workers Union Local 320, a federation member that represents Metro Bike Share staff, celebrated Metro’s decision Wednesday. In a blog post, TWU said Metro notified the union on Tuesday that it would cancel the request for proposals for the bike share contract, effectively restarting the bid process.

In the blog post, TWU said the transit agency’s decision was led by LA Mayor Karen Bass.

Bass’s office did not respond to a request for comment and Metro declined to comment on what spurred the decision. 

Metro Bike Share crew members move rental bicycles outside the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority building after the agency voted Thursday, January 18 to delay consideration of ride-hailing company Lyft’s bid to operate the regions bike share program. (Martín Macías, Jr. / LA Public Press)

Over three months, the union sustained its vigorous opposition to Lyft’s bid, organizing mass public rallies and bike rides to build support for its contract which includes paid sick days, paid family leave, and immigration status leave for staff.

TWU Local 320 chief shop steward Anne Marie Drolet told LA Public Press she was elated with Metro’s decision.

“With this decision we have truly shown the power of solidarity, of community, of using our collective power to create change,” Drolet said. “Our union has stood strong and shown that we can and will stand up for our livelihoods and prevent the degradation of quality jobs and worker power.”

In January, Metro board member Kathryn Barger, citing the deluge of public comments opposing Lyft’s bid, requested that the board delay a vote on the contract. (Barger also serves as Fifth District representative, which touches the Ventura, Kern, and San Bernardino County lines).

“This successful political organizing fightback campaign is a big victory for LA bikeshare workers,” Transit Workers Union International President John Samuelsen said in a statement. “TWU Local 320 members defended their jobs in the face of an ugly proposal which would have gutted essential benefits and forced them to reapply for their jobs. LA Bikeshare organized, fought back, and achieved victory.”

Correction: This article previously said Bicycle Transit Systems contract with Metro would end on September 30. It will end August 30.