Lyft Bikes Are Catching on Fire

Lyft will pull its fleet of e-bikes off Bay Area streets after two of them caught on fire.

Bikes are bursting into flames in San Francisco. According to the international rideshare juggernaut Lyft, that spurred the brand to pull its fleet of Bay Wheels e-bikes off the streets indefinitely.

“Because the safety of our riders is our number one concern, we are temporarily making the e-bike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology,” Bay Wheels said in a tweet. “Thanks to our riders for their patience and we look forward to making e-bikes available again soon.”

Lyft ‘Bay Wheels’ Fires

Both bike fires occurred in July in San Francisco. According to the SFGate, one caught fire on July 31, docked near Page and Scott streets. A citizen photographed the other burned bike on July 27 after finding it at Folsom and Second Streets.

Originally introduced as Ford GoBikes, Lyft rebranded to Bay Wheels in June.

The brand has been contentious in the city. Lyft sued the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the regulator overseeing local bikeshare, in an attempt to block SFMTA from granting permits to its competitors. Those competitors include Uber.

Three months ago, Lyft pulled them because their stronger-than-expected brakes could be dangerous. The thousands-strong fleet of e-bikes became available again only a couple of weeks ago.

So the rocky road of Bay Area bikeshare has hit another rough patch.

A Lyft spokesperson told the SFGate, “It’s unclear whether the bikes and batteries were tampered with or vandalized,” as the company has noticed “increased rates of vandalism.”

“It is unfortunate that this incident occurred and we are currently monitoring the situation,” said SFMTA spokesperson Erica Kato in a statement. “We encourage Lyft to put customer safety first.”

Sean McCoy
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Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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