- Uber is letting users rent bicycles through its app for the first time.
- The bikes are being provided by Jump, an ebike-rental company that’s running a pilot in San Francisco.
Uber is about to offer San Francisco residents an alternative way to get around the city: by bike.
Starting next week, the ride-hailing giant is going to let users rent electric-assist bicycles, or ebikes, through its app – the first time it has offered bikes as an option.
The bikes don’t belong to Uber. They’re from Jump, a bike-rental service that can also be accessed through its own app. Jump is rolling out 250 ebikes in the Californian city for an 18-month trial – with the potential for another 250 to be added nine months in.
Unlike the Ford GoBike bike-share program already in place in San Francisco, Jump’s bikes are electric and dockless. Using the app – either Uber’s or Jump’s – a person can find a nearby bicycle, unlock it, ride it wherever they need to go, then lock it up to a bike rack with a built-in lock. Truly dockless bike programs have at times been seen by some in other cities as a nuisance, with discarded bicycles littering the streets.
“Our mission at JUMP Bikes is to build the bike you want,”Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki wrote in a blog post. “A bike that can take you farther, get you there faster, and be the most fun to ride. A bike that you don’t even need to own, doesn’t cost a penny to maintain, and is always nearby when you want it. If we achieve this mission then we’ll see more people on bikes - meaning greener, more accessible, and healthier cities.”
There’s a wait list for Uber users to get access to Jump bikes, and the full pilot scheme is fairly small scale. In comparison, there will be 7,000 Ford GoBikes on the streets of the Bay Area by the end of 2018.