Could the scooter craze be pushing out bike-share programs?
Uber is reportedly packing up its pedal-assist Jump e-bikes and pulling them out of Atlanta.
The company’s e-scooters, though, will remain.
Uber excitedly announced the launch of Jump bikes in Atlanta just nine months ago, promising mobility options that would travel 20 mph for 10 cents per minute (following a $1 activation charge).
But in the past few days, Jump users have reported receiving the following email:
Beginning Friday, September 13, JUMP bikes will no longer be available in Atlanta. You will still be able to enjoy JUMP scooters in Atlanta, which will continue to operate as usual.
We appreciate your support and apologize for any inconvenience you are caused by no longer having access to JUMP bikes.
We value you, our riders, and will continue to provide a fun, convenient, affordable scooter experience in Atlanta.
An Uber spokeswoman said the company is “winding down” its e-bike operation in Atlanta and “looks forward to continuing conversations with city leaders on how we can work together to expand transportation options.”
News of the bike’s imminent departure comes at a time when Atlanta’s infatuation with e-scooters is reaching an all-time high, and as City of Atlanta officials are grappling with how to best regulate the new mobility options dotting the streets.
In response to recent e-scooter-related fatalities, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has halted the permitting of new dockless vehicles, enacted a nighttime curfew for their use, and promised temporary bike lanes throughout the city to keep users safer.
The Uber spokeswoman did not respond to a question regarding whether recent regulations have played a role in the decision to pull the e-bikes out of Atlanta.
“This seems like a good opportunity for the City of Atlanta to revitalize the Relay bike-share program, adding e-bikes to the mix,” opines urbanist blog ThreadATL in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately, we’ve gotten reports that Relay bikes are often in disrepair these days.”