Uber to buy electric bike-sharing firm | 2018-04-10 | daily-sun.com

Uber to buy electric bike-sharing firm

BBC     10th April, 2018 09:47:06 printer

Uber to buy electric bike-sharing firm


Uber users around the world may soon be able to hire electric bicycles through the app, after the ride-sharing firm bought US bike-hire firm Jump.


Based in New York, Jump allows riders to rent electric-powered "pedal assist" bikes via an online platform.


Its bikes are also dockless and do not need to be returned to a specific place.


Uber, which already has a tie-up with Jump in San Francisco, said it would now look to "scale" the bikes globally.


Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi said: "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."


The bike-sharing market is growing at about 20% a year and is set to be worth between €3.6bn (£3.1bn) and €5.3bn by 2020.


David Bailey, a professor at Aston Business School, told the BBC: "Uber is looking at this partly because it is fast growth area but it is also looking forward to a time when we won't own cars.


"Autonomous cars are coming and in big cities you won't need to own a car in future. You might want to use an Uber taxi but then finish the journey on a bike. So it's about offering multi-modal transport."


Founded in 2008, Jump Bikes has launched conventional bike-sharing schemes in 40 cities across six countries, including in Brighton in the UK.


Its e-bikes, which were unveiled last year in Washington DC, cost $2 (£1.40) for the first half-hour, then 7 cents per minute.


The bikes are "pedal assist", meaning their batteries only kick in when you are pedalling.


Users also locate and unlock the cycles with their smartphones and use a built-in lock to secure the bike to a rack at the end of their ride.


Didi expansion


The Jump deal comes as Uber faces growing competition from competing ride-sharing operators in international markets.


Last week, Uber sold its South East Asian operations to regional rival Grab, retaining a 27.5% stake in Singapore-based firm.


It follows a similar deal in 2016 with China's Didi Chuxing, which on Friday also said it would open in Mexico - the firm's first launch outside Asia.


Didi said it would start off with a car service, but according to Reuters, it is also considering allowing users to hire motorcycles and bikes.