As announced by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at the NOAH Conference in Berlin in June 2018, Uber has kept their word and launched their bike sharing service JUMP in Europe before end of the year.
Uber currently tests their bikes in a limited pilot in the northern city center. The bikes are not being offered via the JUMP app but via the regular Uber app – using the “bike” option – currently only available for the pilot attendees.
Unlocking the bike using the on-board terminal is a bit more effort than with the Chinese competitors but still pretty straight forward. Like Nextbike JUMP expects users to lock their bikes towards a fixed object and probably hope for less tilted bikes, theft and vandalism. Considering the heavy duty and high quality bike parts and the large, solar-powered on-board terminal, this wish is understandable. These bikes will likely cost a multitude of their Chinese counterparts.
Riding such a bright orange JUMP bike is fun! Compared to many other pedelecs it feels like real empowerment and not just like a lame start assist. One can feel that cycling using these bikes is not just more convenient and less sweat-inducing but also noticeable faster than with a regular non-electric bike. One reason could be that the pilot bikes might not yet be adjusted to the 25 km/h maximum speed and rather to the US standard of 20 mph – but this might be wrong perception having no tachometer available. Anyhow – these bikes are for sure a powerful alternative to regular bikes and chasing up Emmy’s and Coup’s electric scooters.
Jump is Uber’s second bike sharing investment. They also have a share in Lime, which is better known for their scooter sharing service. In Berlin powered scooters are not yet allowed and waiting for approval. In the meantime Lime has successfully deployed their bikes and pedelecs on the streets. So both companies are now present in Europe’s test ground for smart mobility – and they currently provide the only shared electric bike options in the city, operating independently from each other.
Uber JUMP and Lime bikes have arrived in Europe. This move clearly underlines Uber’s aspiration to go beyond ride hailing and become a multi-modal mobility service provider.