Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Economy | By

Uber makes a Jump into bike

Uber makes a Jump into bike

Owning and operating its own bike-share service may help Uber mitigate the threat that e-bike and e-scooter services pose to the ride-hail company's business, specifically for trips under three or so miles. About 100 Jump employees will join Uber, an Uber spokeswoman said. Sources told TechCrunch the final price could be approximately $200 million. The bike-sharing company, launched as Social Bicycles in 2011, runs GPS-enabled programs in twelve cities all over the world, including Portland, Oregon, and Phoenix, Arizona. The bikes allow for regular bike riding, but also an electric pedal-free riding option. "Combining JUMP's track record of product innovation and city partnerships with Uber's scale, operational excellence, and resources will allow us to make a global impact faster than if we were to pursue our vision alone".

"Our ultimate goal is one we share with cities around the world: making it easier to live without owning a personal vehicle", Khosrowshahi wrote.

Next on Uber's list: the bike-sharing industry. Some cities might not be quite so keen to let Uber be the firm to fill their streets with bicycles, though. Its bikes are all designed using a lock built in, so riders lock the bikes to a rack or pole. From there, the customer reserved a bicycle and was charged $2 for 30 minutes and then a per-minute fee after that.

Back in 2016, a French court hit Uber with a $900,000 fine for running an illegal and unsafe transport service with drivers that were not properly licensed. After that, it'll be only a matter of time before we hear of Uber bringing JUMP bikes to new cities around the world, so we'll keep an eye out for those announcements.

Jump's CEO Ryan Rzepecki wrote in a blog post that his company will "play a significant part in the transition of Uber" to reach many forms of transportation, including biking.

At the same time, the move into dockless bikes could reenforce skepticism from opponents who say un-docked bikes clutter city streets and sidewalks, and encourage theft and vandalism. "The JUMP brand will also continue and we hope it will represent the best in bike share technology and responsible operations". The organization changed its name when it established its own fleets of electric bikes, that are available in San Francisco and Washington.

I think by being integrated into Uber, Jump now has the lead in bike sharing and will be able to make the service available to a much wider swath of the population, especially in the USA, where ebiking is still in its infancy.

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