Uber is getting into the bike-sharing game.
The transportation network is partnering with electric bike-share company JUMP on a limited pilot in San Francisco. Participants in the pilot can pick up JUMP e-bikes using the Uber app and drop them off anywhere within a designated bike zone.
Uber is starting with just 250 JUMP bikes and the pilot is already full. There is a waitlist for Uber users in San Francisco who want to try it out.
Competition in the U.S. dockless bike sharing industry is heating up, with shared bikes cropping up in cities across the country. In Seattle, there are three dockless bike sharing companies competing for riders: Spin, LimeBike, and Ofo. Earlier this month, LimeBike announced plans to introduce e-bikes to its fleet in a handful of cities.
Bike sharing is wildly popular abroad but in China, the market has become oversaturated. Striking photos of shared bike graveyards made headlines last year as several Chinese bike sharing companies went bankrupt. In Seattle, pranksters have taken to “parking” the bikes in some unusal places.
That could be one reason Uber is treading cautiously; launching a limited pilot and partnering with an existing bike share company, rather than developing its own fleet.
JUMP is a New York City-based company that offers e-bikes in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.
“Having a greater variety of transportation modes at your fingertips helps make it increasingly easy to live life without a car,” Uber said in a blog post. “We’re particularly excited about bikes because they can provide a convenient, environmentally friendly ride even in dense cities where space is limited and roads can be congested.”