Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Uber acquires electric bike-sharing service Jump

Uber acquires electric bike-sharing service Jump

Uber announced Monday morning it will acquire the electric bike-share company Jump, which now operates in San Francisco and Washington, DC. No financial details of the transaction have been disclosed in an official capacity, with Bloomberg reporting Uber ended up paying over $100 million for the firm, citing a source with knowledge of the agreement.

Dockless bike sharing services including Ofo and Mobike already operate in cities around the United Kingdom, but Uber would inevitably have an advantage because many people already have its app installed on their phones.

Uber said that the data from its ride network allows the company to understand the best locations to place the bicycles in different cities, so they can be used more frequently. But under the new leadership of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, whom Rzepecki says leads with humility, "we realized that we shared Uber's vision of multi-modal mobility and had the same goal of decreasing auto ownership". The company has already announced a pilot program, which integrates an e-bike service into the company's core mobile app, in San Francisco.

Uber is continuing its push to dominate the shared transport space, buying an electric bike-share service. The move may soon mean that Uber users will be able to rent pedal assist electric bikes through the app. It would be the first acquisition for Uber since Dara Khosrowshahi took over as the company's chief executive in August. However, unlike many other bike sharing services, such as London's "Boris-bikes", Jump's bikes do not use docking stations.

JUMP was founded in 2010 by Ryan Rzepecki and is based in New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

In a conciliatory tone, Uber said it is "appropriate to regulate services such as Uber" and pledged to "continue the dialogue" with authorities in European cities where it has met fierce opposition from taxi drivers.

The pedal-assisted electric bikes operate nearly silently and can reach speeds of over 30km/h, allowing commuters to use the service for those longer journeys.

When Uber was launched it offered ride-sharing for its users who could summon transportation via the app.

The case, which deals the Silicon Valley start-up another legal setback, concerned Uber's use of unlicensed drivers as part of its UberPOP service in France, which has since been suspended. Every three days, JUMP employees locate bikes using Global Positioning System and swap out batteries for those in need of a charge.

Bummer - for now you're just going to have to deal with being ferried around in a vehicle by your trusty Uber driver.

Taking a $2 bike into a part of the city with a higher density of drivers and then hailing an Uber from there may be a faster and more affordable option than taking an Uber for that whole ride.

Jump Bikes, which was set up about 10 years ago, has bike-sharing schemes in 40 cities in about half a dozen cities.

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