August 28, 2018 10:02 pm

Uber heads into bike-sharing business

Uber acquired JUMP bikes in April, 2018.

JUMP bikes

Uber is planning on shifting to bike rides for short trips in cities.

Instead of ordering a car for door-to-door service, the ride-sharing app wants you to hop on a bicycle, electric bicycle or scooter and get yourself there.

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“During rush hour, it is very inefficient for a one-tonne hulk of metal to take one person 10 blocks,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the Financial Times.

Uber acquired JUMP bikes – an electric bicycle sharing company – earlier this year. The bikes are self-locking, and usually cost a few dollars for a short ride.

A pilot version of Uber Bikes was started in San Fransisco, and expanded to Washington D.C., according to a blog post from Khosrowshahi in April.

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“We’re particularly excited about JUMP Bikes because they can provide a convenient and environmentally friendly ride that’s often faster, especially in dense cities where space is limited and roads can be congested,” he wrote.

The bikes are now in eight U.S. cities and will soon be launched in Berlin. There’s no word on whether the service could come to Canada.

Along with JUMP, Uber has also invested in Lime – which is an electric scooter company.

In a previous blog post, Khosrowshahi said Uber was 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.”

READ MORE: 20 new electric Bixi bikes buzzing on Montreal streets

But he did admit the move wouldn’t be the most profitable in the short term.

“Short-term financially, maybe it’s not a win for us, but strategically long term we think that is exactly where we want to head,” he told the Times.

“We’re able to shape behavior in a way that’s a win for the user. It’s a win for the city.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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