While Uber is known for their car services, the company is beginning to offer rides on a new mode of transportation. San Francisco residents will have the opportunity to reserve pedal-assist electric bicycles through the Uber app.
The idea behind the transportation change is that local residents will view the bikes as a cheaper and faster option to having to sit in busy rush hour traffic.
Not only could this be a faster option, but a healthier one as well. In fact, a British Medical Association study found that coronary heart disease was reduced by 50% in people who cycled 20 miles each week. So this bike-sharing program offers more than just one benefit to users.
Uber is partnering with Jump Bikes, a bike-sharing service that introduced 250 motorized bicycles to the San Francisco area in January. The electric bikes make it much easier for users to tackle the area’s steep hills.
“We’re excited about the future of bike sharing in the Uber app, and this is the first step,” said Andrew Salzberg, Uber’s head of transportation policy and research.
Salzberg noted that bikes and other modes of transportation have been a consideration at Uber for some time now, but it was on hold until the company figured out the right way to try it out. With Jump Bikes recently closing a $10 million Series A round, the company thought it would be a good place to start.
Uber has shown many ambitions to extend services beyond ride-hailing. Along with the bike-sharing pilot program, the company is also working on autonomous trucking services and expanding into food delivery with Uber Eats.
Other bike-sharing programs, like Ford GoBikes or Citi Bikes, which have designated pickup and drop-off locations, Jump Bikes bicycles are simply left on the sidewalk and attached to a public bike rack. While this is convenient, but there are concerns with the bikes being left wherever users feel like leaving them.
After choosing the “bike” option in the Uber app, the user will reserve a bike and be charged $2 for 30 minutes and a per-minute fee after the initial 30 minutes have passed.