Uber’s “Jump” electric bikes will be trialled across Melbourne’s metropolitan areas from march 2020.
Melbournians will be able to see available Jump bikes through the Uber app. They can also reserve them through the app and scan the bikes to unlock them.
Uber purchased the e-bike start-up in 2018, which had been operating in San Francisco and Washington DC at the time. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, TechCrunch reported that it could be more than US $100 million.
Uber said Melbourne was chosen for the trial as it has the highest per capita number of bike and bike lanes in Australia.
The e-bike roll-out is part of the ride sharing company’s broader plan to give people more options for getting around the city without a car.
“The launch of Jump e-bikes in Melbourne is a key part of our blueprint to bring together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app – so all Melbournians have more options when deciding how to get from A to B without using a car,” Jump General Manager Australia, Henry Greenacre, said in a statement.
Jump is also partnering with not-for-profit bike company Good Cycles to run its day to day operations. The organisation will service and repair the Jump bikes in its workshop and will swap out their batteries.
Greenacre added that Uber wants to “change the way we move around”.
“Jump is a major part of this vision as we set a new standard for e-bikes whether it’s the motor, the GPS traceability, the locking system, the battery system, the user interface – all custom engineered and designed,” Greenacre said. “Recent advances in batteries and cellular devices have made these shared e-bike schemes a reality”.
Rules for riding the bikes
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, along with Yarra Mayor Misha Coleman and Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss were keen for the e-bikes to arrive in their city.
“We are always looking for ways to get more people riding bikes in Yarra, and e-bikes are one of these options,” Coleman said in a statement.
However, there are still some regulations. You have to wear the helmets the bikes come with, and you must follow the same road rules as a regular bike.
And you can’t ride outside the city of Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip. If you do, you could be hit with a penalty charge on your Uber account.