On Monday, Uber announced its plan to buy Jump, the company that brought their electric bike-sharing service to San Francisco and Washington DC. The companies had negotiated a deal in January through which in San Francisco, users could locate and unlock a Jump bike through the Uber app. By acquiring the company, Uber hopes to bring this service to cities around the world.
Uber will be faced by existing competition, like Ford GoBikes in the Bay Area and Citi Bikes in New York. However, unlike their competitors, whose bikes have designated pick-up and drop-off locations throughout their respective cities, Jump bikes are dockless. As the New York Times explains, riders pick up their bike where the last rider dropped it off, either on the street or hooked to a public bike rack. Although this is an added convenience for users, public officials are complaining about dockless bikes crowding their cities. Seattle and Washington DC have already restricted the number of bikes on their streets.
Although the idea has not been perfected, the bikes are being used, even multiple times a day. This trend of bike-sharing is an environmentally conscious alternative to car-sharing. Uber’s latest expansion follows the success of UberEats, their food delivery service. As Buzzfeed quotes, the CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, wrote, “we’re committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app — so that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more.”