Uber and Jump Launch San Francisco Bike-Sharing Pilot

Uber is branching out.

byStephen Edelstein|
Uber and Jump Launch San Francisco Bike-Sharing Pilot

Uber is teaming up with New York City-based bicycle company Jump to launch a bike-sharing pilot in San Francisco. Users will be able to rent one of Jump's bicycles using the Uber app.

The Jump bikes feature electric assist, which should come in handy on San Francisco's many hills. Jump already operates a bike-sharing service in Washington, D.C., and just received permission from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority to operate in the city a couple of weeks ago. The permit allows Jump to deploy 250 bikes, and is good for 18 months, according to TechCrunch.

The collaboration with Uber should make the service easier to use. Riders can reserve a bike through the Uber app by tapping the "bike" option. Because Jump only has 250 bikes available, Uber will only allow a limited number of customers to sign up for the pilot. Those that don't make the cut can join a waiting list.

Jump isn't the only bike-sharing in San Francisco. Ford launched its GoBike service in the city last year and expects to have 7,000 bikes in its fleet by the end of this year. But Ford's bikes have to be returned to designated docking stations, while Jump is dockless. That means riders can leave bikes at any public bike rack, as long is it falls within a zone delineated by the Uber app. The added convenience is making dockless bike-sharing services popular in other cities, but for now, Jump is the only company allowed to operate that way in San Francisco.

The bike-sharing pilot shows how Uber can offer more transportation options to its core customer base of city dwellers. Integrating multiple transportation options into one app could give customers more ways to get around, and avoid overuse of one transportation method. Because while Uber riders may enjoy the convenience of hailing a car whenever they want, that may not be the best way to reduce traffic congestion in cities.