Uber's app is going to let you rent an electric scooter to zip around town

Lime
  • Uber is partnering with Lime to allow users to rent a scooter directly in the Uber app.
  • Uber also invested in Lime during its most recent funding round announced Monday.
  • It’s unclear if JUMP, the electric bike company acquired by Uber earlier this year, will continue to pursue its own plans for a scooter fleet.

In addition of cars and bikes, users will soon find something new inside the Uber app: scooters.

The ride-hailing giant announced Monday that users will be able to rent a Lime scooter directly in the Uber app. The announcement comes as the ride-hailing giant also announced it participated in a funding round led by GV, Alphabet’s venture arm, valuing Lime at $US1.1 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Uber spokeswoman Kaitlin Durkosh declined to specify which locations in the US or overseas will offer the Lime scooter option or when it will go into effect.

It’s unclear if JUMP, the electric bike company acquired by Uber earlier this year, will continue to pursue its own plans for a scooter fleet. Uber confirmed last month that JUMP applied for one of five scooter permits in its hometown of San Francisco. The city hopes to announce which companies have received permits in the coming weeks.

Durkosh said the company is only working with Lime right now as an outside partner, and is “open to supplementing” with JUMP scooters “as needed to bring the benefits of e-scooters to more people in more places.‚Äč”

For Uber, the Lime partnership positions the company to become more than just a ride-hailing company – and able to compete with rivals like Lyft. Both Uber and Lyft are aiming to become a one-stop-shop for transportation, offering a wide variety of options ranging from cars, bikes, and now scooters.

Lime is one of a handful of scooter companies looking to capitalise on the new transportation craze sweeping cities across the country. Along with Bird, Skip, Spin, Ofo, and several others, scooter companies – and the millions of venture capital money backing them – hope that scooters will become a permanent way for people to move through cities.

The electric scooters work by allowing users to reserve a nearby scooter via a smartphone app, ride around on it for a small fee, and, at the end of the journey, leave the scooter anywhere to be claimed by the next rider.

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