Uber has just launched a pilot bike-sharing service in San Francisco. The story was reported in February on Gizmodo.
The startup is called Jump Bikes. It was recently granted the only permit from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to manage a dockless bike system in the city. Currently, Jump is allowed to operate 250 electric bikes. But by late 2018, the company might be allowed to double the size of the fleet. Ford runs a bike-sharing system in the city, GoBikes, but those 7000 bikes must be docked, while Jump bikes can be locked virtually anywhere.
The new feature, Uber Bike, will allow Uber customers to book Jump bikes through the Uber app. The map will show users where the closest freestanding bikes are, and allow them to reserve the bike.
Dockless bike-sharing programs are copping a backlash in Sydney and Melbourne. The bikes are being dumped in all sorts of places, including trees, beaches canals and waterways, in carparks, as well as anywhere in the street. When combined with dumped shopping trolleys they clog up footpaths and common areas. Many residents and talkback radio hosts regard them as a blight and are pushing to have them banned. So it will be interesting to see if this new scheme by Uber takes off or stalls.
If you’re serious about riding your bike, here are some of the best bike trails in Australia.
Image credit: Uber.