Did you know.. Uber has entered the bicycle-sharing market?
Uber recently announced that they were about to enter the bicycle-sharing market. By making a huge investment in JUMP, an innovative electrified bike-sharing company from the US, they instantly became a serious player in this rapidly changing industry. Not only did it mean a further extension of Uber into the lives of the traveler, but it also meant another step towards Uber’s multi-modal transportation strategy.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, recently wrote that the company is 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. The goal is always to make transportation safe, equitable and affordable. The collaboration with JUMP fits all too well in this mission statement.
But before this introduction of 'UberBike', the multi-model transportation strategy already concisted of five different types of transportation. UberX is the regular taxi service of the company, UberPool is made for those who don't mind sharing a car, UberEats is the food-delivery department for the hungry amongst us and UberFreight is for everything that needs to be transported from A to B.
Ubers wish to be able to provide transportation for every part of the travelers yourney is shared by most of the local governments of the cities that they operate in. Due to environmental and logistic issues, it is a common heard goal to reduce the individual ownership of cars. Adding bicycle sharing to the product line could help Uber reach this goal, while the idea of car sharing remains one of the companies utopias. Despite multi-million dollar investments to shift the social boundaries of the customer, car sharing still makes people feel uncomfortable.
The owners and founders of JUMP always treated local governments with respect and never rolled out their service in a city without the explicit permission of those politicians. Uber had some political clashes in the past, due to their illegal operations in some cities and countries, so they made a wise decision to change their strategy and now collaborate with a party that plays by the rules.
Uber and JUMP made their first move in San Francisco, last January. They placed 250 electrified bicycles around the city and introduced them to to participants around the city, who were using a pilot app. With big plans to roll out the service is other cities and countries, there is a long way to go. Especially with competitors as BMW, General Motors and Ford, who are also planning to dive into the world of multi-modal transportation.