Uber is acquiring Jump Bikes, an electric, dockless bike-sharing service, which allows customers to rent online electric ‘pedal assist’ bikes. The ‘dockless’ bike means customers do not have to return it to a specific place.
“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,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief of Uber.
The company has been testing Jump Bikes in San Francisco. “Our hometown pilot is off to a very strong start, with riders enjoying a convenient and environmentally-friendly way to cruise up and down our trademark hills,” he added.
Being focused on championing smart technology for smart cities, Uber today helps “tens of millions of people get a ride at the tap of a button,” said Khosrowshahi. “But our ultimate goal is one we share with cities around the world: making it easier to live without owning a personal car. Achieving that goal ultimately means improving urban life by reducing congestion, pollution and the need for parking spaces.”
Jump Bikes, which was set up about 10 years ago, has bike-sharing schemes in 40 cities in about half a dozen cities. Its e-bikes cost $2 for the first 30 minutes and then seven cents a minute.
While the two companies did not reveal the price at which the deal was signed, estimates are that Uber shelled out nearly $200 million.
Unlike other regular bike hiring services, dockless bikes can be returned anywhere, not necessarily to designated racks or stations.