For only $200 million dollars, yes only $200 million dollars…. Uber is in the bike-sharing game. Uber has made a fascinating discovery: New riders taking a spin on its red Jump electric bikes in San Francisco are more likely to continue riding the bikes instead of hopping in one of its ubiquitous cars.
In other words, Uber is disrupting itself — and the company says it couldn’t be happier about it.
“This is having a positive impact on the things cities care about, notably congestion and reducing carbon”
Uber isn’t alone in feeling that way. Mobility advocates said Uber’s findings show people will happily take two wheels instead of four if given the chance.
As of July 1, overall trips by new Jump riders on the Uber platform climbed 15%, even as their trips in cars and SUVs declined 10% New Jump users were most likely to choose bikes during hours of congestion, and cars during off-peak hours.
Uber, which acquired Jump in April, expects to see similar findings in the five other cities where it offers e-bikes. Many of those cities strictly limit how many bicycles bike-share outfits can provide. Uber hopes those cities might ease their restrictions once they see how startups such as Jump can ease congestion and reduce pollution.
“There’s this incredible opportunity to get us to choose smaller footprint, zero-emission vehicles which are way better for cities, people’s budgets and environmentally,” said Robin Chase, who co-founded Zipcar and helps lead the World Resources Institute’s new mobility efforts.
Uber isn’t alone in embracing e-bikes. Its biggest rival, Lyft, purchased bike-share startup Motivate this month, and plans to introduce more bikes and scooters. And then there are all the scooter-sharing outfits popping up lately. Bird and Lime have raised money faster than Uber and Lyft did in their early days.
“People are realizing vehicles can be much smaller and simpler and electric,” “You don’t need a giant GMC Suburban for a trip under a mile.”
More and more Uber riders seem inclined to agree.