Amidst multiple legal and operational battles, if Uber wants to continue to exceed growth targets, it needs to innovate, improvise, and tap into newer markets. Having understood this very well, Uber has now announced it will begin offering bike sharing options in San Francisco as part of a test program for a larger rollout in the future.
In order to enable this, Uber is partnering with New York City-based e-bike company, Jump. The inclusion of bike-sharing in Uber’s app will certainly be seen as a boost to the nascent bike-share industry, which has been experimenting with electric and dockless options as it grows globally. The addition of a bike option in Uber’s app also raises the possibility that other transportation options, such as subways and buses, will also be integrated into the ride-hail service’s app down the line.
Starting next week, San Francisco Uber users who are interested in taking two wheels instead of four can tap the “bike” option in the app, located in the top left corner of the home screen. From there, users will see available bikes near them that they can reserve.
Users who are interested in joining the limited trial can join Uber’s waitlist through this link. At presently, there are only 250 Jump bikes located in the city, which means Uber will have to limit the number of people using its app to access them.
Formerly known as Social Bicycles, Jump received exclusive permission from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) to launch its service just a couple of weeks ago.
Uber said its app would present selected users with a “bike” option in a drop-down menu. From there, the customer can reserve a bicycle and will be charged $2 for 30 minutes and then a per-minute fee after that. Uber will target people who often travel within the areas of the city where the bikes are available, while allowing other customers to join a wait-list for the service, the company said. The company declined providing further details on this new feature. If found successful, Uber could roll out this feature across the U.S., and subsequently in its global markets as well.