Uber acquires electric bike sharing company Jump

Posted April 11, 2018

This design feature minimises the "bike litter" that has become synonymous with other bike-share services, as bikes are not able to be left dumped on the ground.

Popular transportation, ride-hailing and food delivery tech behemoth Uber have purchased electric bike share company Jump as first reported by the BBC.

As part of its pilot program with Uber, the Uber app presented users with a "bike" option in a drop-down menu.

Electric: Biking the hills of San Francisco (or the bridges of Brooklyn) can be a pain, but electric bicycles have their own, electric motors to use in those situations.

But Uber might be a little late to the game.

"JUMP's CEO Ryan Rzepecki is an impressive entrepreneur who has spent the better part of a decade bringing bike-sharing to life across the globe". According to Mercury News, the company plans to charge the bikes at a central warehouse until such time as bike chargers are available at convenient locations within the city.

"Our ultimate goal is one we share with cities around the world: making it easier to live without owning a personal auto", said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO. The agreement with San Francisco is good through 2025, and the contract with New York City is good through 2029.

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Dockless bikes self-lock and can be parked anywhere, rather than in a station, as Citi Bikes are. However, some cities have complained that dockless bikes have become a nuisance, clogging sidewalks or left damaged in unusual locations. It also eliminates the cost of building parking infrastructure.

A few Silicon Valley startups, such as LimeBike and Spin, are aggressively competing in the dockless space.

Uber last year outlined a series of improvements for drivers, including a new navigation system and fairer approach to review performance, in response to years of complaints by drivers about their pay and treatment.

In China, where dockless bike-sharing first took off, there were more bike-share rides between 2013 and 2017 than there were ride-share rides in the U.S.in that time. Developing and commercializing our vision took 100+ people almost ten years of struggle and hustle to bring to life but, we've finally delivered a solution that delights customers and captures the full potential of bikes as a means of daily transportation. Most of these changes earned a round of applause from the driver audience in Los Angeles.

The Spanish case was brought by a taxi drivers' association in Barcelona, where belief runs high that Uber is a taxi company that should be subject to rules governing such vehicles. Bike-sharing is a seasonal service; storing excessive bikes during winter seasons and managing misused and abandoned bikes can be costly.

In the meantime, though, consolidating bike-sharing seems to be an inevitable path for ride-sharing companies. The addition of a bike option in Uber's app raises the possibility that other transportation options, like subways and buses, will also be integrated into the ride-hail service's app down the line.