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Uber Launches Electric Bike Service in London with JUMP

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【Summary】Uber customers in London will be able to rent an electric bike right from the Uber app. The ride-hailing company is running a pilot program making 350 e-bikes available to rent in the city.

Eric Walz    May 24, 2019 11:39 AM PT
Uber Launches Electric Bike Service in London with JUMP

Uber customers in London will be able to rent an electric bike right from the Uber app. The ride-hailing company is running a pilot program making 350 e-bikes available to rent in the city.

The e-bikes are operated by JUMP, a New York-based electric bike sharing startup that Uber acquired in April 2018 for around $200 million. JUMP operates around the world, including the United States, Canada, and the European cities of Berlin and Paris.

Uber will pilot its electric bicycle service JUMP in London beginning on Friday, as Uber looks to expand into new areas as it tries to broaden its business offerings after its lackluster IPO earlier this month.

Using Uber's app, people will be able to unlock a bike for 1 pound ($1.27), with the first five minutes of a ride free of charge, followed by a 12 pence per minute cost thereafter.

The Jump e-bikes are part of a wave of new "micro-mobility" transportation options in urban areas, including dockless electric scooters. To further broaden its offerings, last summer Uber invested in Lime, a popular San francisco-based electric scooter sharing company.

Uber said it would show Lime scooters as an option within its mobile app and put its logo on some Lime scooters in additional to its e-bike offerings. Neither Uber nor Lime disclosed the exact size of Uber's investment.

Uber's Past Problems in London

Uber has been looking to expand its offerings in London, a key market for the company outside of the U.S. after a falling out with local regulators.

Uber's license to operate in London was revoked in Sept 2017 by the city's transportation authority, Transport for London, over its questionable business practices. Regulators said at the time that Uber was not "fit and proper" in its compliance with regulations.

Transport for London said that Uber demonstrated a "lack of corporate responsibility" tied to a number of its behaviors, such as failing to report sexual assault by drivers, using lax background checks and the use of illicit software called ‘greyball" to elude regulators, which led a United States Department of Justice inquiry.

However, Uber appealed the decision, saying it would work with regulators to update its business practices and fully comply with all regulations.

In June 2018, A British Magistrates' court granted a 15-month probationary license for Uber to operate again, but Uber committed to changes, including providing training for drivers and notifying authorities when a driver is removed the platform.

Uber's e-bikes are part of a new wave of micro-mobility options in cities that are attracting big investments from ride-hailing companies.

Uber biggest U.S. rival Lyft also is investing in e-bikes and electric scooters. In June 2018, Lyft purchased Motivate, the bike-sharing company that operates Citi Bike in New York City and Ford's GoBike program in San Francisco. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it was reported in June to be around $250 million.

Uber's use of e-bikes and scooters comes as regulators and politicians around the world politicians are working on ways to cut congestion and improve air quality in major cities.


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